The Braves bats woke up in bunches during the 8th inning. When the team looked down and out after Hudson had blown not one, but TWO leads, and the Dbacks had hit a homer to take the lead 5-4. With all of that going against the Braves, who could blame them for hanging their heads, declaring that it wasn't their day, tip their cap, and play the rubber game tomorrow. That's not what happened. What happened was the biggest offensive explosion in one inning that we've seen all year.
Whereas the pitching saved the Braves in game 1, the bats had to save the day in game 2. Hudson tried his best to keep things in check early on in the match, but he kept running into trouble every time the Braves would take a lead. It was like watching two fighters trade haymakers with each other. Nobody could really wrestle an advantage away from the other team for very long through the first 6 innings. Then came the 8th inning...
The 8th is hard to describe because it was unlikely anything you've seen from a Braves team this year, in a good way. Every single hitter was doing their job, but their weren't hitting the ball out of the park. It was the succession of hits and walks that combined into a reverberation around Turner Field that left Arizona stunned. Seven runs crossed the plate in one inning, and it started oddly enough with 2 players hit by pitches. Heyward then doubled in both runs, although the key run was scored by Simmons when he recognized a ball getting away from the relay to home. In a split second he broke for the plate as the throw was mishandled in the infield, rolling to foul territory along the third base side, because nobody was at home to back up the play. Very smart by Andrelton, and it turned out to be the winning run in the game. The rest of the 5 runs scored in that inning were sweet, sweet gravy. The Braves went 5-11 with RISP. That's music to my ears. You know what else is music? 11 runs on 11 hits. What an efficient game for the Braves, and one I'd love to see again and again and again.
Hudson didn't get the benefit of the win, so he continues to struggle in the decision department. He only has himself to blame on this one, and he knows it. The bullpen did their job for the most part, although Walden finally got touched up for a homer in the top of the 8th before the offensive onslaught. That means he ended up getting credit for the win. Life isn't fair, Huddy. Four different players had multiple RBIs (Freeman, Bmac, Uggla, BJ). Justin Upton ended up have the most hits on the day with 3, to go along with his 2 runs scored. Everybody got on base. Any game where I can say that probably means the Braves won it.
The CPA picked another Braves win correctly, and it looks to see if the Braves can sweep in Game 3.
CPA Prediction Game 3: Braves 6 - Dbacks 3
The CPA thinks that the Braves are going to continue the hot trend againt Cahill, a guy who has struggled to give up less than 5 earned in his last 3 starts. Maholm had a bad game on the road in KC, but he's been sharp at home in his last 4 outings, never giving up more than 2 earned in any game. Look for the Braves to jump on the Dbacks early to set the tone.