In one of the most up and down games you will see this season, the Braves survived the ride with three runs in the 10th to win, 9-6, and take the series sweep over the defending champion Giants.
Despite a ton of runs scored in the final innings, the Braves started the scoring in the first when Chipper Jones doubled home two runs, worth .106 WPA. However, despite there being no outs, Chipper was left stranded on second base.
The Braves held to a two-run lead until the fourth when Buster Posey turned on a changeup left up in the zone for a two-run homer, tying the game at two, worth .251 WPA.
Neither team managed anything until the seventh, and that is when the floodgates opened. Brandon Hicks walked with one out and Martin Prado walked with two outs, and that was followed by a three-run homer by Jason Heyward to take a 5-2 lead, worth .410 WPA. The pitch was a hanging curve by Jeremy Affeldt.
But it didn't take long for the Giants to respond again. In the home half of the seventh, with Jairo Asencio on the mound, the Giants reached base on three consecutive singles to load them up for the 8-9 hitters with one out. Asencio gave in to Miguel Tejada on a 3-2 count and walked him, bringing home a run, worth .131 WPA. Pinch hitter Nate Schierholtz followed with a groundout to first base that Freddie Freeman took to the bag, allowing another run to score but making it two outs with a 5-4 game, worth -.013 WPA. However, Aaron Rowand provided the big blow of the inning by doubling home two to take a 6-5 lead, worth .434 WPA, the biggest swing in the game. The blast was probably the result of leaving Asencio in too long despite it being obvious he didn't have good command.
But alas, the Braves answered right back in the eighth and quickly, as Dan Uggla hit a solo homer to lead off the inning to tie the game at six, worth .269 WPA. Nothing happened until the 10th inning when the Braves ended things off closer Brian Wilson, but it didn't come easy. Heyward and Chipper singled to lead off the inning, followed by a walk from Uggla to load the bases with no outs. But Freeman struck out and Eric Hinske grounded out, forcing Heyward out at home for the second out. Nate McLouth came through in the clutch, drilling a single up the middle and plating Chipper and Uggla for a two-run lead, worth .396 WPA. Brian McCann followed with a RBI single for a three-run lead, worth .037.
Brandon Beachy turned in a solid performance for the Braves, allowing two runs on the Posey homer and just three hits in six innings, not walking any and striking out seven. It's the type of outing the Braves came to expect from Beachy in the minor leagues, and we have now seen it in back-to-back outings at the major league level. His three ground balls and seven fly balls are also expected, as is the command up in the zone at times, but no walks is huge for his type of game.
While he may not show up in the highlights, Prado again gave a great effort from the leadoff spot despite not recording a hit, because he walked twice and scored twice, and his play in this game was worth .006 WPA. The best part was seeing a team-high 26 pitches, including 12 balls. When Prado walks, the Braves win.
Heyward has turned it on as of late, and it's coming at a good time following a 0-14 stretch before the Giants series. He must like San Francisco because he went 7-12 with a homer and four RBIs, two walks and two strikeouts in the series. He has also received some good luck via grounders through holes, but Heyward is looking more comfortable at the plate.
Stat of the Day:
The Braves swept the Giants in San Francisco for the first time since 1998.
The Game Changer:
Aaron Rowand's two-run double in the seventh put the Giants ahead, 6-5, worth .434 WPA.
(ATL) Jason Heyward: .578
(ATL) Chipper Jones: .404
(SF) Aaron Rowand: .334
(ATL) Jairo Asencio: -.694
(SF) Jeremy Affeldt: -.398
(SF) Brian Wilson: -.314