If you like pitcher duels, this was the game for you. If you like big game-defining homers, this was the game for you. If you like Atlanta Braves pitchers whose last names start with "So" and end with "a", then this was the game for you. And most of all, if you like the Braves sweeping the Padres in San Diego for the first time since 2006 (also in their first post-All-Star-Break series this year), then this was undoubtedly the game for you.
The first seven innings of this afternoon competition were a pitcher duel between two newcomers. Which juiced ball? No runs crossed the plate; Hell ̵
Mike Soroka distributed six hits on seven frames with a dazzling 9/1 K / BB ratio and amazed the brothers with changes, sliders and even his two-seater. He produced an insane 18 breath from his 83 pitches. Quantrill was not much worse in his best performance as a major leaguer on six frames. He only staked three hits at a ratio of 3/1 K / BB and generated Grounder to Grounder, often at the beginning of the count. After Quantrill left, Craig Stammen came in and helped the Padres continue to hit Soroka, hitting a 1-2-3 inning with seven strokes.
But then, the eighth! The excitement was great from the start. The Padres challenged Trey Wingenter for the head of the inning, who has so far given Kirby Yates, whom the Braves had pushed a bit around last night, a clear double victory. Wingenter was also pushed around, to say the least. With one penalty, Matt Joyce and Ronald Acuña Jr. beat consecutive singles to take third place. Dansby Swanson then fought Wingenter over five pitches before finally succumbing to a questionable strike at a check-swing call. That's what Freddie Freeman brought to life, and he has more than managed to solve a hitherto miserable series for him. Boom!
The Braves offensive and Wingenter's problems were not over yet, even though the Braves now had a threefold advantage. Josh Donaldson persuaded a walk, stole the second (yes, his third stolen base of the year) and hit a single by Nick Markakis. 4: 0 Braves to get six outs.
Oh, but those outs turned out to be ornery, at least for a moment. With four runs forming a cushion, the Braves asked Touki Toussaint to shut the door. He did not. Two straight singles greeted him and Manny Machado came in, who was able to trim the lead to a lone run in one fell swoop. Toussaint fell back 3-0, but there were gifts – Machado jumped to the right and the Padres did not try to beat a victim from his failed move. Toussaint then went to Franmil Reyes and hopped out of Brian Snitker to show him the metaphorical door (or the path to the clubhouse tunnel). Sean Newcomb met Francisco Mejia, the near-hero of San Diego, last night. No problem, at least not this time – Mejia finished third on Newcombs first place. This created a left-to-left match against Josh Naylor, who previously harassed Soroka with two singles, and Naylor managed to rejoin the center to put San Diego on the board and reload the bases. The Padres squeezed Hunter Renfroe in search of a stunner, and the Braves counterattacked with Chad Sobotka to regain the train advantage. After two pitches it was 0: 2. After three more pitches the count was full. Sobotka fired the ball home and he just hung there and raced to the deadlock. Renfroe took a mighty cut … and came with nothing but air. Strike 3, sit down, Braves still 4: 1, on the way to the ninth …
… which was relatively anti-climactic. The Braves had a pair of baserunners with two outs due to two infield errors, but Dansby Swanson's great urge was caught by Naylor in the gap on the left to finish the frame. On came A.J. Minter, and despite a bad throw (first saved by Freeman) on a soft tapper counted by the pitcher and a two-headed Tatis, he closed the book on the Padres Mike Soroka was great, Freddie Freeman had a huge success, Chad Sobotka surprised the stadium and the Braves went to Milwaukee by a margin of seven games.