Talk about suspense, the entire season and this game alone all provided it through and through. The Braves fell behind early after a pinch-hit home run by John Mayberry Jr. Fortunately, the following inning the Braves offense came alive, scoring five runs. The Braves never looked back, despite giving up a few late runs due to an error by new third basemen Omar Infante.
Tim Hudson threw seven masterful innings, allowing just two hits in his outing. Both hits were two-run homers, but thankfully the offense was able to come together to back Hudson. Every starter had a hit, and each had an RBI aside from Brian McCann and Rick Ankiel. Omar Infante and Jason Heyward both had huge triples, and Derrek Lee blasted a solo shot to extend the lead to 6-2. Brooks Conrad had two RBI hits and played a solid second base.
Jonny Venters entered the eighth inning and allowed a single to Jimmy Rollins. The following play, Mike Sweeney hit a line drive that got through Infante's legs. The Braves then brought in Billy Wagner for the four out save. The first batter he faced, Wilson Valdez, battled through a tough at bat and singled in a run. Ben Fransisco followed with a two-RBI double, making the score 8-7.
In the bottom of the eighth, the Braves loaded the bases with one out only to see Alex Gonzalez ground into a 6-4-3 double play. At this point, I was admittedly nervous. Wagner did not look his best and the tables seemed to have turned. Thankfully, Wagner came through in the ninth in dominant fashion. Wagner struck out the side, including two nasty sliders to catch Shane Victorino and Brian Schneider looking.
The Padres and Giants are playing now. You know the deal, Padres lose and we're in, and if they win then there's a three game tie which means we play the loser of a one game playoff on Tuesday. This was a great victory in what was hopefully Bobby Cox's and Billy Wagner's last regular season game ever.