After two rough losses that included a total deficit of three runs and both coming in the final outs, the Braves finally got a little revenge in the final game of the Cardinals series with a walk-off win of their own.
The Cardinals struck first with three runs in the first inning when Matt Holliday doubled in two, worth .170 WPA, and Lance Berkman doubled in Holliday, worth .077. Both sides were held hitless until the fifth when the Cardinals added a fourth run on an RBI single by Albert Pujols, worth .052.
The Braves cut the lead to one in the home half of the fifth. Alex Gonzalez hit a two-run home run, worth .131 WPA. After Joe Mather walked and Nate McLouth singled him to third, Brandon Hicks singled as a pinch hitter to plate Mather, which was Hicks' first career hit, worth .141 WPA.
The Cardinals loaded the bases with no outs in the sixth off Scott Linebrink with a single, hit-by-pitch and single. However, Linebrink induced a double play by Ryan Theriot, worth -.153 WPA, and George Sherrill got Jaime Garcia on a strikeout to end the inning.
Still down one by one, the Braves broke through in the seventh for two runs. Dan Uggla doubled to lead off the inning, followed by an error by Pujols that scored Uggla, worth .156 WPA. With two outs and a runner on first, Eric Hinske singled the runner to third, which was followed by an RBI single by Martin Prado to plate the go-ahead run, worth .202 WPA.
However, the Cardinals weren't done. Holliday doubled off Cory Gearrin to lead off the eighth. After a groundout moved him to third, Yadier Molina sac flied him in to tie the game at five, worth .063 WPA.
For the second time in the game, Gonzalez reached on an error, and it again proved to be huge. It led off the ninth. He was moved to second base on a bunt by Mather, and after McLouth walked, Brooks Conrad came up with the winning hit as a pinch hitter, a walk-off RBI single, worth .296 WPA, the biggest swing in the game.
Stat of the Day:
Brandon Hicks scored eight runs before recording his first hit in the majors.
The Game Changer:
Brooks Conrad won the game for the Braves on a walk-off RBI single in the ninth, worth .296 WPA.
(ATL) Alex Gonzalez: .352
(STL) Matt Holliday: .298
(ATL) Brooks Conrad: .296
(STL) Jason Motte: -.267
(STL) Ryan Franklin: -.263
(STL) Ryan Theriot: -.249
Alex Gonzalez had perhaps one of his games as a Brave, going 1-4 with a home run, two RBIs and two runs scored. He reached twice on an error, one scoring a run and the other leading to the winning run. While neither was exactly of his doing, he did cross home plate twice with two big runs, and he hit a two-run home run that was the beginning of the comeback in the fifth. His final WPA of .352 is evidence of his big day.