29 Sep

oh what a night

It was an unforgettable Wednesday night for the Atlanta Braves and all their fans. For all the wrong reasons. A fifth straight loss, in extra innings, after blowing a late lead, left the Braves out of the postseason. St. Louis, with ex-Jackson Generals star Lance Berkman driving in a run and scoring one, did its part to get in, blasting Houston 8-0. Braves fans will have hard time forgetting Wednesday. Former Mississippi Braves star Craig Kimbrel blew a save, for just the third time all year. The Braves had two runners cut down on the bases, hit into three double plays and left eight runners on base in the 4-3 loss to Philadelphia. They struck out 15 times in 13 innings. Former M-Braves Martin Prado, Freddie Freeman, Brian McCann and Jason Heyward were a combined 4-for-18 with one run and no RBIs. Still, the game that lingers as the harbinger of Atlanta’s doom may have been played on Sept. 19, Black Monday. That was the night when, with two outs, Chipper Jones lost a high hopper in the lights at that football field Florida played on. Then Omar Infante hit a game-winning, two-run homer off Kimbrel. That same day, the Cardinals, getting a big homer from Berkman, beat Roy Halladay and the Phillies. The Braves’ wild card lead was still 2 1/2 games then, but it felt smaller. The noose had begun to tighten.
P.S. Wondering if Mississippi State product Jonathan Papelbon’s last pitch for Boston will be the one that Baltimore’s Robert Andino smacked into left field to beat the Red Sox on Wednesday night and, ultimately, knock them out of the playoffs. Papelbon, 31-of-34 in saves this season, is a pending free agent. … Wondering also why Tampa Bay manager Joe Maddon felt compelled to thank Orioles manager Buck Showalter (the former MSU player) and his team for playing hard against the Red Sox. Aren’t they supposed to play hard, just as a matter of course? … Tyler Pastornicky didn’t play Wednesday, but he was on the bench for Atlanta, becoming the 59th M-Braves alumnus to advance to The Show. Pastornicky hit .314 for the M-Braves and .365 in 27 games at Triple-A Gwinnett. The Braves looked past Diory Hernandez and Brandon Hicks to bring up Pastornicky as an emergency shortstop. He might be the shortstop in Atlanta next season.

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