The Atlanta Braves and Philadelphia Phillies finished their three game series in Atlanta, GA. Today’s game was a special one not only for the players but for the whole game of baseball in general. It was the leagues Civil Rights Game for 2011.
The game had some African American celebrities join them in the booth as well as taking in the festivities. Some of them included, actor Morgan Freeman, home run leader* Hank Aaron, and hall of fame short stop Ernie Banks.
A couple musicians were also in attendance Carlos Santana and BK Jackson, who performed America the Beautiful during the seventh inning stretch. BK’s skill with the saxophone is very impressive.
Now onto the game, this was scheduled to be a great pitchers game with runs coming at a premium with the likes of Tim Hudson and Roy Halladay taking to the mound. They did not disappoint with Halladay lasting 8 innings in his second straight loss. He gave up his second home run of the year to Dan Uggla in the eighth inning that gave them the 3-2 lead.
Braves closer Craig Kimbrel came in to work the ninth. He had to deal with the 7-8-9 batters in the lineup. Ben Francisco came in to pinch hit for second basemen Pete Orr. He worked a walk on Kimbrel which brought up catch Carlos Ruiz who hit a fly ball to defensive sub Jason Heyward in right field. The next batter was pinch hitter Ross Gload who didn’t have much luck catching up to Kimbrel’s 98 MPH fastball. Jimmy Rollins was Philadelphia’s last hope in the ninth. Duing Rollins at bat Kimbrel threw a wild pitch that advanced Francisco to second and a single would potentially tie the game up. However he got out of the jam by forcing Rollins to pop out to left fielder Eric Hinske to end the game.
Craig Kimbrel earned his tenth save of the year. He has looked shaky in a lot of his save situations but has found a way to stay focused enough to keep the saves coming.
What a great game that was, solid pitching that came right down to the end. The Uggla home run came at a great time in the eighth when i was questioning if Halladay should have come in to pitch the eighth. I’d also like to give kudos to Brooks Conrad getting a start at third base. He made a fantastic snag during the eighth inning. You can only feel good for the guy after his struggles in the post season last year defensively.
Atlanta is now only 3.5 games behind Philadelphia in the NL East. Good Job Braves!