The Giants have guaranteed themselves their second series win in Atlanta since 1997 when Turner Field first opened. The game started with an hour and sixteen minute rain delay and wasn’t very exciting until they reached extra innings. Juan Francisco hit a tape measure shot to dead center off Vogelsong in the third inning and Melky Cabrera hit a no-doubter to left field in the sixth to knot it up at one a piece. The Giants came out in the tenth and put two runs on the board rather quickly. Joaquin Arias hit a triple and scored when Chipper Jones couldn’t field the ball cleanly and tossed it clear over Brian McCann’s head. The next run scored on a Melky Cabrera bloop over the shortstops head that scored Brandon Crawford who had been intentionally walked earlier in the inning. The Braves came to bat, had one out left, and struck magic in the form of a double from Freddie Freeman and an opposite field homerun from McCann in the next at bat.
The Giants showed some resilience and put up six runs in the next inning. Brandon Crawford hit a tape measure 3-run homer off Chad Durbin one pitch after fouling a ball off his knee and Gregor Blanco hit his first homerun at Turner Field a couple minutes later scoring another three for the good guys. Chipper Jones came up in the bottom of the 11th and quickly made it 9-4 with a shot that just cleared the left field fence, but that was all the offense the Braves could muster in the last of the 11th. The Giants and Braves combined for 5 homeruns in this game, 3 of them in the 11th inning.
Ryan Vogelsong went six strong innings, allowed one absolute bomb to Francisco, and struck out seven, all while lowering his ERA to an astounding 2.31. Vogelsong has been a model of consistency as a pitcher and has given the Giants a chance to win just about every time he toes the rubber. The Giants are 11-2 in Vogelsong’s last 13 starts and he has allowed more than three earned runs exactly once this season. He has yet to throw less than six innings in any start, and has a ridiculous 1.11 WHIP on the season. Vogelsong doesn’t get much credit nation wide for being as good as he has been, but the numbers don’t lie. He is third in the league in ERA and tied for eighth in the league in WHIP. Two of the pitchers ahead of him are teammates Matt Cain with a .96 which happens to lead the league, and tomorrow’s starter Madison Bumgarner with a 1.07 ERA.
The game tomorrow has Madison Bumgarner lead the charge against the Braves as the Giants look for a second consecutive sweep since the All-Star Break. The Braves will have one more chance to salvage a win against one of the hottest teams in baseball, but they will have their work cut out for them facing MadBum and his 3.15 ERA and 1.07 WHIP. The Giants have a chance to continue to extend their lead over the Dodgers, who have the day off tomorrow, but beat the Phillies 5-3 today. The Giants still sport a 3 game lead over the Boys in Blue, apparently that .5 game lead after the All-Star break wasn’t good enough for the Dodgers…..