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Friday 20th Oct 2017

I am sure many fans would shudder at what we say in the booth. I suppose I would, did I not work in the press box, but as wonderful as it is to work at the park, it is still a job.

Looking at it as a job, there are two basics we hope for: an efficient game, and one that does not last extra innings. For, just like any job, a lot of the time spent is marking time till we can go home.

Well, Sunday found me at ATT, covering the Braves who had invaded the park, taking on the Giants, with Brandon Beachy pitching against Jonathan Sanchez.

Sanchez had his control issues, with 86 pitches tossed over five innings that included three walks and five whiffs. In the first, this haunted the southpaw to the tune of a pair of runs, nothing like Beachy, who breezed through three perfect innings before getting caught short by a massive Aubrey Huff double and Buster Posey homer, to tie the score in the fourth,

There it stayed till the seventh, when Jeremy Affeldt walked Brandon Hicks with one out, and then pitched around Martin Prado with two in order to match up lefty vs. lefty with Jason Heyward.

My mates around me in the booth, me included, shook our heads at this move, and sure enough Heyward belted a three-run shot.

But, in the bottom of the seventh, the Giants struck back, loading the bases against Jairo Asencio, plating all three plus Miguel Tejada to jump ahead, 6-5, only to have Dan Uggla crush a tying dinger off Sergio Romo.

In the ninth, Brian Wilson came on to shut down the Braves, another move we all questioned, thinking we would save Wilson till we really needed to get out of a jam with a whiff or at least later in the game, saving our stopper. Which is something the Braves did, holding out both Jonny Venters and Craig Kimbrel till the end (Venters got his first save of the year).

By his second inning, Wilson wore down, the Braves scored three, and that was that.

It was an exciting back and forth affair, that included the Braves scoring nine runs on eight hits (seven walks, though) and saw 34 of the available 50 players in uniform take the field.

There are so many variables that make up an exciting game, and so many ways to find that end, and this one had it. Good pitching and bad, clutch hitting and outs, catch up and a big inning, and despite extra innings, the game was fairly efficient, taking three-and-a-half hours on a leisurely Easter Sunday.

By the way, Beachy is a nice potential pickup in any kind of format right now, with a 1-1, 3.68 mark with 31 strikeouts over 29 innings, and a 1.09 WHIP.

 

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