After the most crushing loss in recent memory, when the Braves, after having led the entire game, blew a 2 run lead in the 9th inning; after finding out their hall of fame thirdbaseman’s name wasn’t on the line up card on friday due to an oblique strain; after another inexplicable umpiring incident in which an apparent called strike was reversed, or misinterpreted (honestly, I’m still not sure what happened there) thus negating an out at second on a tag and paving the way for a three run home run by Casey Blake; after Bobby Cox and Jair Jurrjens were ejected, the Atlanta Braves–in front of 54,000 maniacal Dodger fans on fireworks night–decided they had had enough.
Kelly Johnson, who was playing in place of Chipper Jones, hit a two run home run to cut the lead to one in the 7th, and Garrett Anderson tied it in the 9th with a single against Johnathan Braxton. Yunel Escobar put the Braves ahead in the 12th with yet another hit with a runner in scoring position. Ryan Church put the nail in the coffin and sent half the crowd pouring towards the exits with a three run shot that just barely made it over the right field wall.
Apparently they had seen enough fireworks.
Despite an intensely hostile crowd and an equivocal umpiring crew that even Vin Scully was shaking his head at, the Braves overcame what seemed like an insurmountable lead to avenge the previous night’s painful loss, keep their pride intact, and their post season hopes alive. It was the kind of resilience and character displayed exclusively by high caliber teams–see Dodgers win over Braves last night.
They might not win the series or the division, or even the wild card, but on this night, against the mighty Dodgers, surrounded by a sea of blue, the Braves won me over again with an unforgettable performance.