The Braves put the Dodgers to bed tonight with a four run 9th inning, but the coolest part of this game did not come from any hitter on Atlanta. With a two run lead already secured, closer Mark Melancon began to get hot in the pen to come in for the save in the bottom half of the inning. As he was throwing out there, Ozzie Albies blasted off a two run homer directly into the Braves pen. By into the Braves pen I mean EXACTLY to the rubber of where Melancon was throwing from. I love when pitchers catch in-game homers, but this may take the cake.
The calmness and casualness of this grab is simply incredible. Guy's blood pressure never rose one bit. Probably forgot this was a postseason game for a second. Perfect read off the bat, never a hesitation. That was his ball from the crack of the bat.
Somewhere Zack Hampie is punching air just wishing he could have dove into that bullpen for the catch (I know there were fans here, but I hope to god they didn't let that monster in there). This year without fans made me forget how much I can't stand that guy, but that's a discussion for another time.
But let's talk more about Melancon. You are warming up to come in the 9th inning of the NLCS. Your team just blasted a homer to extend the lead in the 9th against the Dodgers and this man called signaled for the catch like he was shagging some fly balls pregame. Baseball players are so weird, closers are weirder, and Melancon is one of them. Anyone remember his pump up video he made before Game 5 of last year's NLDS?
Strange cat, but cool as a cucumber out in the pen it seems. Looks like if ATL is ever short a guy in the OF he's an option.
Guy came in for a 9 pitch 9th to win it for Atlanta. Braves take Game 1, putting all the pressure on one Mr. Kershaw tomorrow night. Buckle up.