The Braves are so eager to swing at everything that they’ve brought back the possibility of a complete game. Clayton Kershaw, one of the more inefficient top starters in the game, took it to two out in the ninth inning with a 2-1 lead before falling apart and letting the Braves take a 3-2 lead. Presumably because it was a throwback jersey game, or maybe because he has no faith in his bullpen, Don Mattingly just left Kershaw out there to blow the lead. David Ross hit a bases-loaded two-out single. Because it’s the Braves, they lost the game anyway.
Before that, Kershaw had been dominant, allowing only a fifth-inning solo homer by Freddie Freeman, who’s very much a bright spot in a dim Braves firmament right now. Jair Jurrjens had worked hard but hadn’t given up a run before allowing a game-tying solo homer in the sixth. Fredi comically used George Sherrill to pitch to one batter — Kershaw — in the seventh, then brought in Scott Linebrink, who allowed a solo homer to Casey Blake that seemed to be the Dodgers’ margin of victory. Eric O’Flaherty had little trouble in the eighth.
In the ninth, the Braves were down to their last out when Chipper Jones singled and Jason Heyward ran for him. Dan Uggla singled, then went to second when they tried to get Heyward at third, and was almost thrown out. Not only was that risky, it took the bat out of Freeman’s hands, as they pitched around him. Ross made them pay.
The Braves brought in Craig Kimbrel, who walked the leadoff man then got the next two, but let the runner go to second with a wild pitch. Blake got behind 0-2, then singled to tie the game. The Braves had two on with two out in the eleventh, but Nate McLouth struck out swinging. That was it for them. In his second inning of work, Cristhian Martinez allowed a double by Andre Ethier, then a homer by Matt Kemp. Ballgame.