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For want of a nail: the Braves stun the Giants and then the Giants stun them right back

Oct 10, 2010, 8:24 PM EDT

As you read this, Brooks Conrad is being rushed to a secure, undisclosed location. Or at least he should be.

For want of a nail the shoe was lost.
For want of a shoe the horse was lost.
For want of a horse the rider was lost.
For want of a rider the battle was lost.
For want of a battle the kingdom was lost.

Or was that about second basemen?

Before I start in on the Brooks Conrad sturm und drang, allow me to say that no matter who wins this series, it has been a fantastic one.  Close. Exciting.  Filled with the unexpected.  That went for Friday’s game without question, but perhaps it went even more for tonight.

The Giants led most of the way behind a strong performance from Jonathan Sanchez.  Meanwhile, the only damage the Giants could do resulted from Jason Heyward slamming against the wall to give Mike Fontenot a triple, followed by a Brooks Conrad error that allowed Fontenot to score.

Well, at least he got that out of his system, right?

Flash forward to the eighth inning where pinch-hitter Eric Hinske hit a two-run homer.  It’s the kind of thing, combined with Rick Ankiel’s home run on Friday, that truly makes you marvel at the blinding star power the Braves are riding in this series. Frank Wren had put a call in to Francisco Cabrera to ask if he wanted to pinch hit and Cabrera turned him down because the gig was way too low-rent for him.  Hinske was dramatic enough, however, yelling and pumping his fist at one of the more improbable home runs in recent memory.  If the game could have ended right there, oh how memorable it would have been.

But with Billy Wagner at a field hospital someplace, no lead is a sure thing for the Braves.  After getting two outs and allowing one baserunner, Craig Kimbrel allowed a Freddy Sanchez single to center.  Bobby Cox — who is so damn trusting that he doesn’t even remove Brooks Conrad for a defensive replacement — doesn’t trust Kimbrel to get one more out and brings in Mike Dunn to face Aubrey Huff. Huff singled in the tying run.

What happened next was just so . . . appropriate.  Peter Moylan comes in and induces a grounder to second by Buster Posey.  That goes right through Brooks Conrad’s wickets. It was his third error of the game.  If Bobby Cox wishes to manage more than one more game in his career, it will be the last defensive chance Conrad ever receives.  Seriously, put Tim Hudson in at second base. It couldn’t be worse.

It was lost in rage-haze, but I’m told that the Braves eventually got the third out and then went down mostly quietly in the bottom of the ninth.  Game over: Giants win 3-2.

If they could take a man’s life for the thoughts that’s in his head . . .

  1. JCD - Oct 10, 2010 at 8:31 PM

    Didn’t you say in an earlier post that Brooks Conrad had no business trying to place 2d base? Poor kid, it’s sad that his team’s post season hopes will go down the drain because the Braves don’t have anyone remotely competent to man that position.

  2. Filmter - Oct 10, 2010 at 8:32 PM

    I thought i was going to have to put Hinske up there with Oquendo, Pudge, and Spezio. No harm done. Now MadBum to close it out.

  3. Proudly Canadian - Oct 10, 2010 at 8:34 PM

    Cox sure had a brain cramp. The announcers proclaimed loudly that Huff hit left handers better than right handers. Cox should have known that, yet in the 9th he brought in a left hander to face Huff. Naturally Huff got a hit. Both of his hits in the game were against lefties.

  4. malmstorm - Oct 10, 2010 at 8:45 PM

    Glenn Hubbard, report to 2nd base immediately.

  5. Lucasjj - Oct 10, 2010 at 9:00 PM

    Even as a Giants fan I felt bad for Conrad. Loosing a playoff game with an error is bad enough, but when you make three in a game it just amplifies it.

  6. digmyearth - Oct 10, 2010 at 9:06 PM

    It seems sadly poetic for Bobby Cox’ career to come to an end with him still facing bullpen woes and looking for a stopper.

  7. PaulKemp - Oct 10, 2010 at 9:08 PM

    In other news, a case of the Chuck Knoblauch’s broke out today in Atlanta, the CDC is investigating….

  8. Tim's Neighbor - Oct 10, 2010 at 9:12 PM

    I feel terrible for Conrad. He just shouldn’t have to be counted on in situations like this. I hope the poor guy can even sleep tonight.
    Braves win it tomorrow.

  9. ebraves - Oct 10, 2010 at 9:42 PM

    Diory Hernandez should have been at second or third. His bat could not have been much worse than Conrad’s.
    As said before, Kimbrel should have been left in to close it out..

  10. mcsnide - Oct 10, 2010 at 9:47 PM

    Did anyone else think that Conrad was screened by the ump on the 3rd error and didn’t even see the ball til it was 10 feet from him?

  11. Filmter - Oct 10, 2010 at 9:53 PM

    I left steve finley circa 2004 off the list

  12. malmstorm - Oct 10, 2010 at 9:59 PM

    Gotta agree with ebraves, on both points.

  13. Church of the Perpetually Outraged - Oct 10, 2010 at 10:01 PM

    And as usual, the announcers are wrong.
    RHP: .286/.352/.495
    LHP: .275/.328/.428
    This year he’s about even, but a 188AB sample size isn’t big enough.

  14. Joboo - Oct 10, 2010 at 10:26 PM

    Loosing? Are you an archer? The word is “losing”. As a Giants fan, you should probably know that.

  15. nps6724 - Oct 10, 2010 at 11:25 PM

    Why isn’t Glaus starting over Conrad? Sheesh. Bobby must want to get his career over ASAP.

  16. MerkleBoner - Oct 10, 2010 at 11:45 PM

    Wah wah wah cry cry I’m Craig Calcaterra I’ve been a fan of a successful team for the last 20 or so years and I’m really sad that something bad happened to my team for once. Welcome to Giants baseball, man. You just wait. You just wait.

  17. JBerardi - Oct 10, 2010 at 11:51 PM

    The reverse platoon split is a lie.

  18. Utley's hair - Oct 11, 2010 at 12:16 AM

    Damn, Craig. What happened to the short, bald Braves boys club solidarity?

  19. Old Gator - Oct 11, 2010 at 12:30 AM

    “If they could take a man’s life for the thoughts that’s in his head . . .”
    Fool! Did you think you could elude the Thought Police? Take him away.

  20. The Rabbit - Oct 11, 2010 at 1:01 AM

    I suppose it’s too late to adjust the post season roster? Sigh!

  21. Giant Space Ants - Oct 11, 2010 at 2:48 AM

    Wait..for what? Your comment didn’t explicitly give a hint as to what he’s supposed to wait for. Continued years of losing? A comeback, because the Giants are masters of losing? Is there a line to joining “Giants baseball”, and he needs to wait before he can actually get into the club? Or perhaps he should be waiting for something worse to happen to the Braves tomorrow, thus causing him to”wah” and “cry” even more? I’m terribly confused by how you ended the comment…perhaps you knew this, since you repeated it once again at the end.

  22. Jonny5 - Oct 11, 2010 at 8:36 AM

    Seriously though, Why does Conrad even get a start? His offense doesn’t even begin to make up for his bumbling defense. This isn’t the first game he’s given away if I’m not mistaken. Maybe swap him with McLouth at the least, right??

  23. murd - Oct 11, 2010 at 9:10 AM

    I agree. Glaus at least has experience at 3rd, and range or not he’ll stop what’s hit at him. And he won’t hit worse than Conrad’s 0-10 or whatever it is. I feel bad for Conrad, this isn’t his role and he shouldn’t be in there. Glaus at 3rd, Infante back to 2nd, and let Conrad get a hit in the 8th or 9th as a PH.

  24. Mr. Heyward - Oct 11, 2010 at 10:25 AM

    I’ve loosed a playoff game from my quiver before.

  25. Mr. Heyward - Oct 11, 2010 at 10:27 AM

    Not a fun choice: picking poop versus pee…

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