Much improved bullpen and missed opportunities haunt Braves in 14 inning loss
In a much needed win, the Braves sent RA Dickey to the mound in hopes of him relieving the bullpen and eating up some innings. Dickey once again fell victim to the long ball, when he gave up a home run to Cardinals, third place hitter, Matt Carpenter, putting the Braves in a deficit for the fifth straight game and allowing a 1-0 to take place in the first inning.
The trouble for Dickey didn’t stop there, in the third inning, he gave up another home run to newly called up Cardinals left fielder, Tommy Pham. Followed by two doubles by Randal Grichuk and Jedd Gyorko extending the Cardinals lead to 4-0.
The Braves offense didn’t come alive until the sixth, seventh, and eight innings when Ender Inciarte and Adonis Garcia were both able to get on base with singles allowing their workhorse, Freddie Freeman, to come up to the plate with two on and one out. Freeman swung at the first pitch and missed, then made sure not to miss on the second. He was able to get ahold of a 94 mph fastball and sent it to left field, nearly covering the wall, for a double, giving the Braves their first run of the game making it 4-1. Luckily for the Braves, the scoring didn’t stop there. Matt Kemp came up and smacked a change-up back up the middle to score Garcia and make it a two run game. Dansby Swanson then singled in the bottom of the seventh inning pulling the Braves within one run, 4-3. In the eighth inning, the Cardinals fell into some trouble when Bret Cecil left a 84 mph curve ball up allowing Freddie Freeman to hit a game tying bomb to left field.
After an uncharacteristic home-stand, the Braves bullpen finally showed up. After a great eight innings of one hit ball, they looked to be the factor in a 14 inning game that would favor the Braves. The Braves had all the pieces in line to win a game but after putting 7 runners in scoring position in extra innings, they were unable to come up with the walk off. In the top of the fourteenth inning, the Braves called up their final pitcher from the bullpen, Josh Collmenter, to the mound in hopes of a clean inning. That clean inning didn’t happen when Collmenter left a 84 mph fastball right in the middle of the plate, allowing Tommy Pham to hit a two-run homer to left field, putting up the Cardinals up 6-4, ultimately ending the game.
The Braves were then unable to get any runners on in the fourteenth, spoiling the first good bullpen outing they have had in week. With the loss, the Braves give up a series sweep and continue a 4 game losing streak. The Braves will travel to Houston to start a two game series with the Astros on tuesday when they send, Bartolo Colon (1-3, 6.27 ERA) to the mound to face Astros pitcher, Charlie Morton (3-2, 3.97 ERA). Game is set to start at 8:10pm ET.
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