September 26, 2012 at 1:49 pm by David Lee under Atlanta Braves
Game 2 vs. Marlins
While the Braves clinched a playoff spot Tuesday with a dramatic walk-off home run by Freddie Freeman, by no means are they cruising the rest of the way. They are close to solidifying the home spot in the wild card while sitting four games out in the NL East with eight games to play. While it’s a large number to overcome, we know well that anything is possible over a week’s worth of games.
And so it continues with Josh Johnson on the mound for the Marlins against Paul Maholm. While the Braves didn’t light Johnson up the last time the two faced, they were able to avoid a high strikeout total while scoring three runs in six innings. As was mentioned at the time, the Braves did well to avoid whiffs on the slider and pinpointed other pitches, and expect more of the same tonight.
Maholm took advantage of the spacious Miami park last time out, allowing two runs in 6.2 innings with just one walk and five strikeouts. For a fly ball pitcher like Maholm, outings against a weak offense in a park that big sum up to excellent nights. While Turner Field isn’t Miami, it’s still neutral, and the Marlins offense remains weak.
Braves.com recap for Tuesday’s win.
AJC quotes following Tuesday’s win. Freddie Freeman: “This is the coolest thing that’s ever happened to me.”
Chipper Jones: “There was never any doubt. We knew that last year was somewhat of a fluke. We kind of got caught not really knowing what to expect. A lot of these guys they took the attitude of trying to hang on, this year we took the bull by the horns and we were like we were shooting for the stars. We’re still shooting for the division until they close us out. and we’ll let the wild card be a byproduct of finishing second and coming up short. But we’ve still got life.”
Mark Bowman gives 10 reasons why the Braves are in the postseason.
Michael Bourn is expected to return to the lineup today. Bourn has missed the last two games with a jammed left thumb. Also in notes, Fredi Gonzalez and Jeffrey Loria go at it, Paul Janish is expected to undergo surgery in the offseason for his dislocated shoulder, and minor league pitcher Greg Ross is the player to be named later in the Jeff Baker deal. Janish is still hopeful for the NLDS if the Braves reach the series.
The AJC has a slideshow of photos from the celebration last night.
ESPN Stats & Info has some good notes on the game last night. Included: “Freeman is the seventh player in major league history to hit a walk-off home run to clinch a team’s postseason berth.
He is just the second, however, to hit the game-winning homer with his team trailing in the game. The other was Bobby Thomson’s “Shot Heard ‘Round the World” for the 1951 New York Giants.”
Matt Klaassen of FanGraphs lists the most valuable games of Jack Wilson’s career as a tribute to his retirement.