The Atlanta Braves are in a “must-win” situation tonight. And already, it's been a roller-coaster ride for the team in the three games played of their first-round playoff series.
In his final season as manager, Bobby Cox has had to agonize through each of the three games, which have all been decided by one run:
“We’re not the best team in baseball, but we can win games and we can compete against anybody. But we can’t afford to make mistakes.”
Mistakes did the Braves in last night at home at Turner Field in Atlanta.
After grabbing a 2-1 lead on an 8th-inning Eric Hinske home run, the team gave up 2 runs to the San Francisco Giants in the 9th inning. And the Giants scored that second run -- the game winner -- because of 2nd baseman Brooks Conrad’s fielding error, his 3rd of the game. He now holds an unfortunate postseason record for a Braves player:
“I’ve got to play better, and I’m a lot better than what I’ve shown out there. That’s why I’m so embarrassed and I’ve let a lot of those guys down who’ve given me so much support this year.”
Now trailing 2 games to 1 in the best-of-5 series, the Braves must win tonight’s game to return the series to San Francisco Wednesday.
Outfielder Matt Diaz thinks the club can get the series back to California.
“We want to make them take it back to San Francisco. We beat them once out there, we think we can do it again. We just need to make the series go that far.”
Derek Lowe gets the pitching start at Turner Field for the Braves, opposed by rookie pitcher Madison Bumgarner for the Giants. First pitch is 7:37 from Turner Field.