The Atlanta Braves lost in hearbreaking fashion Sunday night at Turner Field, putting them in a must-win situation Monday night.
The Braves' 3-2 loss to the San Franciso Giants means Atlanta trails the National League Division Series 2 games to 1, in the best-of-5 format.
The game was a big swing of emotion over the last 2 innings. Trailing 1-0 with only 1 hit from its offense through 7 innings, the Braves found offensive life in the bottom of the 8th. After a single put a runner on base, pinch hitter Eric Hinske drilled a 2-run home run that dropped just over the right field wall for the Braves' 2-1 lead.
But into the top of the 9th inning, the Braves' bullpen was unable to hold the lead. Four pitchers were needed to get out of the inning in which the Giants scored 2 runs to retake the lead. The deciding run scored courtesy the third error committed by 2nd-baseman Brooks Conrad, who capped a miserable evening in the field with a misplayed ground ball. Conrad, with errors inthe 1st, 2nd, and 9th innings, became the first Braves player to commit three errors in a postseason game.
Afterward, Conrad said his teammates came up to him to show support:
"They've come up and said some nice things, but the bottom line is that I've got to play better and a lot better than what I've shown out there. That's why I'm so embarrased". ...I feel like I've let everybody down. I wish I could just dig a hole and just sleep in there."
The Braves now must win Monday night, then return to San Francisco and win a Game-5 to advance to the NL Championship Series.