Atlanta Braves Argue, Claw… then Find a Way to Win Again

The Marlins’ pitchers are finally dampening the offense of the Braves, but at times on Friday night, it seems that the Marlins help a bit of extra help coming from a source wearing a different uniform.

In an era where most arguments have been removed in favor of replay reviews and unquestionable outcomes, tonight’s Atlanta Braves game was a bit of a throwback as both Matt Kemp and (still) interim Manager Brian Snitker were excused from the contest early on for the egregious sin of pointing out that certain calls from home plate umpire Adam Hamari were wafting a pungent aroma toward the direction of the dugout of the visiting Braves.

In short, the calls stunk and he was costing the Braves runs during their best offensive outburst of the night.

That Third Inning

After a walk to Matt Wisler, he was exchanged on the basepaths for Ender Inciarte.  Atlanta missed a run chance right away thanks to a double by Adonis Garcia that bounced over the center field fence.

That situation set up the Marlins to walk Freddie Freeman and face Matt Kemp with the bases loaded.

That’s about when the Braves started expressing objections to the adjudication decisions of Mr. Hamari.  Matt Kemp eventually struck out swinging, but not before getting behind in the count thanks to a first pitch called strike.

But Nick Markakis definitely should have been the recipient of an RBI walk.  After a 3-0 count, there was a called strike thrown somewhere near the Dolphin Expressway.  He’d eventually pop out to left field, but immediately at that point both Kemp and his manager were in the clubhouse for the night.

Of course it turns out that getting Kemp out of the game might have actually helped the Braves.  More on that later.

Wisler Fights Through It

It was a rough start to the night for Braves’ starter Matt Wisler.  He was greeted with a walk, single and double to plate two runs.

After that, he was pretty much brilliant.  No further hits or runs through six full innings.

The bullpen was also equal to the task, with three innings of 1 hit, 1 walk ball the rest of the way.  It was exactly what you’d hope to see:  a pitching staff keeping the team close.

And then the offense went to work.

Chipping Away

The chipping started early:  a single run in the second against Andrew Cashner, who was much better tonight – with help – than he’d been in recent weeks.

A Kemp walk, Markakis single and Ty;er Flowers’ single brought Kemp around, reducing the Marlins’ advantage to 2-1.

In the sixth, Freddie Freeman extended his hit streak to 27 games with a leadoff double (what else?).  He moved on to third base on a miscue by Giancarlo Stanton.

It then appeared that Freeman could be stranded there, but Flowers did it again: a two out double this time to bring Freddie home and tie the game at 2 runs apiece.

The Braves loaded the bases after two were out in the 7th, but Mallex Smith couldn’t get the big hit… from Kemp’s spot in the order.  But just wait…

The Not-so-Obvious Heros

In the 9th, Emilio Bonifacio stroked a 1-out single.  Ender Inciarte lined out to Ichiro, but then Boni stole second – advancing to third as the throw rebounded into short right field.

Adonis Garcia then rapped a solid single into left center to bring in the go-ahead run.

The Braves finally took a lead, 3-2.

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Mauricio Cabrera was the closer du jour, and while he did walk Jeff Francoeur (a tough task, that), pinch runner Yefri Perez managed to get himself thrown out on a steal attempt, which made the rest a lot easier for Cabrera.

Still, a diving/flipping catch of a liner was required to end the game – the second such defensive gem for … replacement outfielder Mallex Smith.

Does Matt Kemp make those plays?  Maybe the first one… definitely not the second.  Interesting how things work out sometimes.

Wisler gets the win; Cabrera gets the save.  Adonis Garcia had three hits; Flowers had two RBI.

The Braves got win #7 in a row… and their sixty-third of the year.  Who knew that could happen when we finished April and May in a quagmire?

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