For about five innings, things were going pretty well for R.A. Dickey and the Braves. Then everything unraveled over the span of 12 or so pitches, and the Braves found themselves in a hole that they couldn’t quite climb all the way out of by the time nine innings were played.
The first half of this game actually went pretty well for Atlanta. It was a pitcher’s duel against the likes of Sal Romano, sure, but at the same time it was a pitcher’s duel that Atlanta was on top of. The Braves were holding on to a tenuous 1-0 lead thanks to a big-time home run from Big City himself, Matt Adams.
Adams’ first home run in nearly a month put Atlanta in front in the second inning, and it seemed like R.A. Dickey was actually poised to make that run hold up. After all, he’d been doing some solid work in his most recent starts and he’s been known to shut a team down while eating innings. However, there was a disturbing trend going up until the pivotal sixth inning — Dickey had allowed the leadoff batters in the fourth and fifth inning to reach base, and the same happened in the sixth inning. This is when Cincinnati finally made Dickey pay for those transgressions, as Adam Duvall hit a homer to put the Reds in the lead.
Unfortunately, Cincinnati wasn’t done and wouldn’t be done until the next two batters had each hit home runs. Eugenio Suarez and Jesse Winker both went deep, which meant that the Reds went deep three times in one inning on R.A. Dickey.
The Reds pushed ahead another run in the seventh inning to go up 5-1, and Sal Romano exited the game after that frame as well. Romano wasn’t spectacular by any means, but with the way the Braves were chasing pitches at the plate tonight, he really didn’t have to be.
Atlanta’s offense did wake up in the eighth inning, as they were able to manufacture a couple of runs thanks to a groundout by Nick Markakis and a double from Tyler Flowers. Sadly, that’s all they could get on Cincinnati’s bullpen before Rasiel Iglesias entered the game and shut down the Braves to give the Reds the 5-3 win on the first night of Hank Aaron Heritage Weekend.
If it weren’t for just one bad stretch of pitching in the sixth inning by R.A. Dickey (which honestly overshadowed what would’ve gone down as another great effort from the knuckleballer), then the Braves may have been in a much better position to win this. Instead, they were forced to have to come from behind in the latter stages and they didn’t have enough left in the tank to pull off the comeback tonight.