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Braves Pull Ahead In Wacky 7th Inning, Win 5-4

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Ryan Doumit brought in the go-ahead runs in a bizarre 46-minute 7th inning to beat the Brewers and win the 4-game series

Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

Things got really weird during the bottom of the 7th inning, what with odd bullpen decisions, a close eye on warmup tosses, and replay. Lots of replay. But when the smoke cleared, the Braves were the team who came out ahead, as a 2-RBI double from Ryan Doumit was enough to move the Braves past the Brewers and give them the series victory.

The game got off to an ominously similar start to last night's comedy of errors: Even though Carlos Gomez had the night off, Jean Segura served as a more-than-capable leadoff man for Milwaukee, and he got things started for the Brewers with a bunt single. Eventually, Johnathan Lucroy came up to bat picked up where he left off last night: He hit a fastball from Aaron Harang into left field for a double that plated Segura and gave the Brewers an early lead. Again, an ominous start, especially considering that the Brewers wasted no time jumping on the Braves last night.

After both teams failed to tally in the 2nd, the scoring resumed in the 3rd. After a double from Segura and a successful sacrifice bunt from Scooter Gennett, Johnathan Lucroy came up to the plate with a chance to score, and once again, he put one into the outfield for a RBI that put the Brewers up two. Lucroy had 8 hits throughout the 4-game series, and 4 of them were doubles. That's some good hitting.

The Braves struck back in the very next frame, as a Dan Uggla walk (!) kicked things off. After a Gerald Laird fly-out and a sac bunt from Aaron Harang, Jason Heyward came up and hit a grounder to right to bring in Uggla and put the Braves on the board. The good times didn't last for long, though, as Lyle Overbay doubled to lead off the 4th inning. This eventually led to Logan "Good" Schafer laying down a good sac bunt to score Overbay and put the Brewers back up by 2.

In the 6th, Milwaukee extended their lead thanks to a Khris Davis RBI single. Just when things appeared to be heading towards another slow night for the bats, B.J. Upton managed to hit one deep to right that just about cleared the fence (it actually bounced off the top of it) for a solo home run. The Braves were back down by 2, and the strange 7th inning began.

The 7th began innocuously enough, with Alex Wood making short work of the Brewers in the top of the 7th. The bottom half of the inning was when things got funky. After Chris Johnson got a leadoff single and Andrelton Simmons popped out, Dan Uggla came up and he got a single to put the Braves in business (and really, a Dan Uggla hit (that came from a great at-bat, no less) should have been the obvious sign that things were about to get weird at the Ted). Gerald Laird then came up and hit one to the left side of the infield. The ball bounced off the glove of a diving Mark Reynolds, and a run scored to bring the Braves within one. As if seeing a play ruled as an infield double wasn't bizarre enough, what happened next was beyond bizarre.

The Brewers brought Zach Duke out to come in for relief, but instead, due to some confusion between manager Ron Roenicke and the coaching staff (with most of that crew away to see their family for graduations), a completely cold Will Smith was called up instead. As a result, Smith had to warm up on the pitching mound, which caused a considerable delay to the game. This eventually led to the umpires trying to sort things out while B.J. Upton humorously tried to keep track of the number of warm-up pitches that Smith threw.

Eventually we got back to baseball and when that happened, Ryan Doumit hit one up the middle that got through the Brewers infield for a 2-run single that put the Braves in the lead. Just when it seemed like the inning had reached its climax and things were about to slow down, it only got crazier.

Jason Heyward came up and hit one up the middle. Defensive substitution Jeff Bianchi more-than justified his appearance on defense by making an unbelievable flip to Jean Segura at 2nd that got Doumit out at 2nd...or so we thought. The game was further delayed when the call was challenged, and unfortunately for the Brewers (and people who wanted to see Bianchi get credit for the optical illusion that he pulled), the call was overturned and Doumit was called safe.

The Braves had a chance to really break the inning open, but both Freddie Freeman and Justin Upton struck out with the bases loaded to end the 46-minute inning. Phew.

After a shutdown inning from David Carpenter and no further scoring from the Braves, it was time for Craig Kimbrel to come in and nail things down, and despite putting Logan Schafer on base after hitting him in the foot, Kimbrel completely overwhelmed the next 3 batters with strikeouts to end the game, give him his 12th save of the season, and give the Braves their 26th victory of the year and a series victory over a pretty good Milwaukee team.

Source: FanGraphs