Saturday night's game between the Atlanta Braves and Milwaukee Brewers was packed full of excitment and had fans on the edge of their seats until the last out was recorded.
Three players made their MLB debut tonight in this game including two from the Braves and one from the Brewers. One of those guys was Atlanta's starting pitcher, Allan Winans.
Winans looked sharp early on. He was mixing speeds and locating all of his pitches well. Two scoreless frames from Winans started the ballgame.
Things were looking promising for Atlanta in the top of the third when Austin Riley hit yet another homerun. This time it was a 3-run shot that followed a Ronald Acuna Jr. single and Ozzie Albies walk.
After two more scoreless innings from Allan Winans, he ran into some trouble in the 5th inning. Sal Frelick of the Brewers, who was also making his MLB debut, lead off the inning with a single to right field. This was followed by an Owen Miller double to give the Brewers runners on 2nd and 3rd with nobody out.
A sacrifice fly from Bryce Turange with a Blake Perkins single immediatley after, brought the Brewers right back in the game with the score 3-2. This was the end of the line for Allan Winans.
Winans final line: 4.1 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 5 K's.
Outside of the Austin Riley homerun, the Braves offense was pretty much sileneced thanks to the efforts of Milwaukee starter Adrian Houser. Houser went 6 innings, allowing 6 hits, 3 earned runs, 2 walks, and punched out 10, tying his career high.
After relieving Winans, Michael Tonkin came back out to the mound in the bottom of the 6th. The leadoff man was retired then trouble began.
Jesse Winker was issued a free pass from Tonkin. Andruw Monasterio singled to right field pushing Winker into scoring position. This set the stage for rookie Sal Frelick.
Frelick got his third hit of the evening, scoring Winker from second and tying the game 3-3. Believe it or not, this is not all that Frelick did to stand out in his debut.
Still in a 3-3 tie going into the bottom of the 8th, Brian Snitker called on Joe Jimenez to keep the score right where it was. He allowed a leadoff double to Willy Adames, then struck out Jesse Winker on three pithces.
Andruw Monasterio came to the plate and hit a sharp ground ball to Orlando Arcia at shortstop. Instead of taking the sure out, Arcia tried to gun down the lead runner breaking for third. It appeared Riley was not anticipating the play coming to him and he could not handle the throw from Arcia. This put runners at the corners with one out. On cue, Sam Frelick was in the batter's box again.
Frelick smoked a low-sinking line drive to Ronald Acuna in right field. Acuna was able to make the catch but could not throw out Adames who scored after tagging up. This gave Milwaukee their first lead of the night at 4-3. Frelick finished the night 3-3 with 2 RBIs.
The Brewers bullpen has been lights out this year. A lot of that is thanks to their closer Devin Williams. He entered the game in the 9th inning with Marcell Ozuna, Eddie Rosario, and Orlando Arcia due up.
Ozuna struck out swinging to lead off the frame. Rosario followed that up with a single. Forrest Wall (MLB debut) came in to pinch run for Rosario. He wasted absolutely no time showing why he was called upon to run.
On two consecutive pitches, Wall swiped second and third. The Braves now had a runner on third with one out and Orlando Arcia at the plate.
Arcia went down on strikes for the second out in the inning. Harris and Acuna both drew two out walks. Ozzie Albies walked up to the plate with a chance to tie the game or possibly more.
With bases loaded, two outs and down by one run, Albies struck out on a nasty air bender changeup from Williams to end a thriller of a ballgame.
Pitchers of Record
W: Joel Payamps (MIL). L: Joe Jimenez (ATL) SV: Devin Williams (MIL)