Massive Moose Alert: Braves and Orioles Bullpens Blow Up in Ninth

Jun 23, 2018 1:13 AM EDT

The Highlights

  • With the Braves and Orioles tied 1-1 in the eighth inning, under 8.5 bettors had to think they had a winner.
  • Charlie Culberson gave the Braves a 3-1 lead with a two-out double in the bottom of the eighth, which meant under backers just needed a Braves save.
  • With their closer unavailable, Braves reliever Dan Winkler came on for the save — but the Orioles scored six runs to take a 7-3 lead and toast the under.
  • Amazingly, the Braves tied it in the bottom of the ninth, but ultimately fell 10-7 in 15 innings.

After seven innings at SunTrust Park, under (8.5) bettors felt pretty sharp with the Braves and Orioles knotted at one apiece.

After giving up five and nine runs in his last two starts, respectively, Baltimore’s Alex Cobb helped put under bettors in good position by striking out six in his seven innings of work. He held Atlanta to just two hits over the first six innings. Braves starter Sean Newcomb matched Cobb, continuing his fine form in 2018.

Both teams then turned to their bullpens in the eighth inning, which is when this game took a turn for the worse for anyone on the under.

Atlanta broke the tie in the bottom of the eighth, thanks to a two-out, two-RBI double off the bat of Charlie Culberson. The Braves took that 3-1 lead into the bottom of the ninth, which meant under bettors still had a four-run cushion.

Since Arodys Vizcaino had recorded four saves over the past five days, the Braves didn’t have their closer available. Manager Brian Snitker decided to go with Dan Winkler, who tried to record his first career save. But the decision backfired.

After giving up a single to Adam Jones, Winkler walked Manny Machado to put two men on with no outs. Time to sweat for under bettors, but even a 4-3 or 5-3 victory would still get the job done.

Winkler did then get Mark Trumbo to strike out, but that was the last out he recorded. Danny Valencia put Baltimore on the board in the next at-bat, singling in Jones. Jonathan Schoop followed that single up with a game-tying RBI double. And in the blink of an eye, the game was tied 3-3 with men on second and third and only one out.

That would do it for Winkler, as Snitker called for reliever Sam Freeman to put out the fire.

The fire kept burning in Atlanta, however, as Freeman flopped on the hill. Here’s how his night played out:

  • Chris Davis RBI sac fly gave the O’s a 4-3 lead
  • Caleb Joseph RBI double made it 5-3
  • Steve Wilkerson pinch-hit RBI single toasted the under (6-3)
  • Craig Gentry RBI single (7-3)

The Orioles, who were hitting a league-worst .209 with runners in scoring position, went 5-5 with RISP in the ninth inning. However you want to slice it, this under moose is compliments of the Braves’ bullpen. I give the majority of the blame to Winkler, the backbone behind this bad beat.

Sure, Freeman also struggled, but he inherited a nightmare of a spot thanks to Big Wink. Either way, it probably doesn’t matter to anyone with an under ticket.

No matter what you bet in this game, it was a roller coaster. After the Orioles’ six-run top of the ninth gave them a 7-3 lead, the Braves scored four in the bottom half to force extras. To add insult to under bettors, neither team scored a run over the next four innings. The two clubs combined for 10 runs in the ninth and seven in the other 14 combined.

Baltimore eventually broke through in the 15th, when they scored three runs to take a 10-7 lead. And this time, they would close out the win in one of the wildest games of the season.

Credit:

Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Braves reliever Dan Winkler

Follow Daniel J. Scotti on Twitter
@scottipippen

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