Today's game was simple. The blowoff game of a 2-game set between the Braves and the Reds in Atlanta. The Braves won the 1st one on a Jason Heyward double Wednesday night. That put their record at 20-20.
The Reds have been on a different path. Leading the NL Central, winning 6 of their last 7 and playing some of the best baseball in the league including leading the league in fielding.
That changed today.
((Brooks Conrad celebrates//Courtesy: FOSG Curtis Compton and ajc.com))
The Reds dropped an 8 spot in the second inning against Atlanta's best pitcher, Tommy Hanson. After 8 innings, the score was Cincinnati 9, Atlanta 3. That didn't hold up.
The Reds could have gotten out of it. The Braves loaded the bases and scored 2. Martin Prado hit a rocket to Reds 3rd baseman Miguel Cairo, that should have been a double play. Only he couldn't get it out of his glove. A run scores and the bases are still loaded, 1-out.
That set-up the next two batters, bases loaded, nobody out and young Mr. Heyward at the plate. Heyward, who leads the NL in game-winning hits, would strike out.
So the Reds brought in their closer, Francisco Cordero to face Brooks Conrad. Conrad, a journeyman bench player, brought his .222 average to the plate. Cordero works the count to 2-2 and Conrad fouls a couple of pitches off.
On the 8th pitch of the at-bat, Cordero throws a 97-mile per hour fastball, low and away from Conrad. Conrad gets a good cut and launches the ball to left-center. Somehow, the ball carries...to the wall and off the glove of left-fielder Laynce Nix over the wall...Game Winner. Yeah, that's right. Conrad hits a Game-Winning Grand Slam.
Watch the HQ video from MLB.com RIGHT HERE and pay attention to Conrad as he rounds 1st base...he thought it was caught.
Or watch this video from dooksucks24 on You Tube:
Friend of the OSG Nubyjas Wilborn was in the Braves Locker room and spoke with Manager Bobby Cox. Check out his re-cap RIGHT HERE