Anyone who gave up, anyone who didn't stay up 'til the end of the game, y'all truly missed a game for the ages. This was the win that the Braves needed. This was the win they needed against the team they needed to beat. It was a beauty!!
Being down 9-0 in the 5th versus the Nationals with Stephen Strasburg on the hill, rain on the way and sleepy bats in the dugout doesn't give any Braves fan a warm and fuzzy feeling. But the team didn't give up. They slowly chipped away and everyone contributed to the extra innings win. How hard is it to come back from a nine run deficit? The last time the Braves did it was against the Padres on June 7, 1987. Need a point of reference? Chipper Jones had just finished his freshman year of high school that year.
The Braves scored four runs in the 6th, but the 8th inning was pivotal. That's when they came within striking distance. The top of the 9th put them on top, albeit briefly. The bottom of the 9th brought disbelief. The top of the 11th welcomed an unlikely hero. The bottom of that inning brought elation! Lots of emotions, lots of heroes.
It was a game where everyone truly contributed. Every starting position player got a hit, they just needed a few innings to warm up. When the pitchers faltered, the bats picked them up. And the unlikely hero who got the game winning RBI? The newest Brave, Paul Jannish. The player the Braves picked up for his defensive skills, not his bat. Irony.
And then there's Chipper. In the Braves biggest comeback win in over 25 years, the Braves third baseman made history. With his 2-out, bases loaded single in the 8th, Chipper drove in two runs. Those two RBI's gave him 1,598 for his career, surpassing George Brett (1,596) as baseball's all-time RBI leader for 3rd basemen. For me, the most telling part of that moment, was that it was so very inauspicious. The ball was taken out of the game and tossed to the authenticator in the Braves dugout. Chipper didn't even crack a smile. He had his game face on. The Braves were within two and that was all that mattered to him. Yes, there were quick hugs from Jason Heyward and Freddie Freeman as they took the field at the bottom of the inning and a nice conversation with Nationals third base coach Bo Porter before play resumed. But it was very obvious, there was only one thing on Chipper's mind. A win.
A win that the Braves got.
There's no time to rest. Two games are on tap for today, one for tomorrow. Let's keep momentum in the Braves dugout!