MLB Recap: Atlanta Braves comes out against the San Francisco Giants in 9th place

Well, I don’t want to be That boy about this, but I’ll do it briefly just to get it out of my system. The San Francisco Giants were screwed by the home plate in tonight’s 4-3 defeat to the Atlanta Braves.

A generous strike call against Austin Wynns prevented the Giants from scoring with two outs and bases loaded in 9th. They were getting a 3-1 lead, but with Austin Slater on deck they could have done more.

In the lower part of 9th with Tyler Rogers’ pitch, two consecutive pending strike-3s were instead called balls and taken to a stolen base by catcher William Contreras who benefited from a full count jump. The swipe would eventually come home as the winning run on Adam Duvall’s single two-out, closing a 3-run rally at the bottom of the ninth to go out against San Francisco.

Yes yes yes, I agree, the strike zone in the late inning was crazy. Scream into your pillow. Run around the block while punching the air. Angrily dance these feelings away. Your emotions are valid, but don’t let yourself go down the rabbit hole what if And It could have been that comes with bickering balls and strikes. Relax, relax, and think critically and constructively about the 9th collapse.

For starters, Jake McGee didn’t have it. He’s had it lately – the extra safety and kick for his four seams – but he didn’t tonight.

McGee stopped above Dansby Swanson in a 0-2 hole and instead of burying him to start the inning, let him out. The next two pitches were easy. The fifth pitch was right on top of the zone, but Swanson committed a foul. The Braves shortstop worked hard and knew exactly what he was getting next and threw him over the center fence of the pitch.

The Giants attack gave him a safety run at the top of the inning and he immediately kicked it to the curb and propped his car on it for good measure. Reduce to one. Nobody out. 3-4-5 batters on the way.

I have no idea how Marcel Ozuna hits anything with the swing he has. He’s bumpy, tipsy, mostly one-handed, and he must see the ball on a boulder of tobacco tucked into his lip. Still, somehow he was able to wind his bat on this 2-shot slider to slap it under Brandon Belt’s glove on the right. The contact seemed incredibly lucky at the time, but I suppose props need to be provided. Or he anticipated the slider (which is impressive when McGee throws his fastball 90 percent of the time) and had enough swiftness and club control to get in to push it against the defense.

It was a single irritant. I was pissed off about it. I can’t imagine how McGee felt about it. Probably not great. And Brandon Belt could have put him on the pitch too, yuck. He didn’t have a nice evening either. Let’s continue.

With a draw on base and no one eliminated, McGee was held back to face southpaw Matt Olson. This was roughly where the night began to feel slightly doomed. It would have been fitting to finish the game right then, with a quick first pitch that Olson absolutely demolishes in the seething Atlanta night.

It almost went like this: the contact was strong, justifying a gasp and applause from the crowd, but eventually found Slater’s glove deep in the center.

It was here that San Francisco’s fate was sealed. Ozuna tagged unexpectedly / brilliantly from the first. You can see that the base’s aggressive run took Slater by surprise. He gasped, then fired into second gear. The shot was on target but late. The bet paid off (as gambling always does) and Ozuna scored on Contreras’ single on the left.

McGee was retired for Tyler Rogers and the rest is the rest.

Wednesday’s ninth inning was a completely different game than the previous 8 innings. The bats, for the most part, were useless. The beaters who kept them superfluous but for short power spikes tubes of meat by Mike Yastrzemski, Darin Ruf and Matt Olson.

Both starting pitchers Carlos Rodón and Charlie Morton swapped ’90s heaters, biting into broken balls and swinging shots for most of the 7 innings. Hard to say who was the best. Both players deserved the victory, neither of them.

Rodón continued his return to form in June after his 8 innings, 8 K shutout against Pittsburgh with 10 K over 7 innings, allowing for only one earned run. The first shot was a broken bat flare with one knocked out in the 5th. Each of his strikeouts came on a swing. He generated 23 puffs: 13 from his slider and 10 from his fastball.

Rodón and catcher Austin Wynns overturned the script on Braves’ aggressive batters, relying more on his wide slider to keep Atlanta from ambushing his fastball. Rodón ended up throwing his slider 52% of the time, a steep climb from a seasonal average of around 30%.

The only drawback of the night was a 2-shot jam shot that still SOMETHING Ozuna put the muscles in the center. He promptly scored on the next court with Matt Olson sending the 97 MPH fastball and Mike Yastrzemski into the center wall for a double RBI. Rodón would have left Olson blocked and returned to the bench for the last time with the advantage.

This was a game the Giants should have won. Blame it on the ref, sure. But this is a slippery slope, my friend. Look deeper. There were no glaring mistakes, but the defense wasn’t the best when the game got tight. Jake McGee and Tyler Rogers didn’t sideline hitters when they got the chance.

However you say it, this was a game. If the pattern established in this series holds up, tomorrow’s final box score will read as the Powerball numbers. Monday’s pitcher duel became Tuesday’s offensive brawl, tonight’s return to upgraded weapons will be Thursday’s brunch.

Complete this sequence: Braves win, Giants win, Braves win, {insert team name} win.

The power of positive thinking. Manifest.

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