The Braves held a 3-0 lead as the Reds took the plate in the bottom half of the fifth inning. Wisler had been on cruise control, much to the delight of first 5 Braves moneyline and under 5.5 bettors. Aside from a bases-loaded-no-out jam in the first inning — which Wisler stealthily eluded with an inning-ending double play — the Reds couldn’t string much together offensively.
That all changed in the home-half of the fifth.
If you bet either the Braves ML or the under 5.5 for the first five innings (5.5), I warn in advance, the following might get the sweat building up on your brow. The famous betting forehead schvitz.
Anyway, Winkler led off the fifth with a walk. While leadoff walks are generally a bad omen, I’ll be honest, it didn’t feel that way live. In the next at-bat, Wisler retired Peraza on the second pitch, restoring order in Cincy for under/Braves first 5 bettors.
Up steps Joey Votto. One on, one out. Votto has struggled this year, so, again, not the worst situation. But on the first pitch he sees, he cranks one out of the park to cut the Reds deficit to 3-2.
F5 under and Braves bettors probably started to squirm, but they were still in good shape. After Votto’s homer, Wisler got Scooter Gennett to roll one over. The window seemed to creek shut, but that only proved to be the quiet before the storm.
With two outs and nobody on, Wisler walked Duvall. Next up, Scott Schebler. Again, on the first pitch, Schebler ripped one to left-center — this time, off the wall. Ender Inciarte played it off the fence and hit the relay man Dansby Swanson, who fired an absolute dart to try to nail Duvall, who was trying to score from first base.
The throw beat Duvall by, I don’t know, five full strides (Thom Brennaman, the Reds play-by-play announcer, said “15 feet” on the broadcast) — and the ump called him out, rather nonchalantly. Duvall, however, thought he got under the tag. He summoned the Reds coaching staff to challenge the call, which they did.
After a long deliberation, the umps called Duvall SAFE, making the game 3-3 — and extending the inning. With that, down goes the F5 under.
The Braves ML bettor still could at least get out of dodge with a push, but the next batter, Tucker Barnhart, laced an RBI double down the right-field line. Down goes the Braves F5 moneyline.
I feel for anybody who lost money on either (and hopefully not both.) It’s one thing to lose an under on a 400-plus foot home run. In that case, I guess you gotta just tip your cap.
But, f***in’ Carlos Perez, the Braves catcher, simply needed to lay down a tag on a throw that beat Duvall by, quote, unquote, fifteen feet? Tough pill to swallow. Come on, man. Carlos, tag in front of the plate — not the body. Carlos.
Photo via David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports