I know the New York Yankees—Minnesota Twins series was a dud, but other than that series, this postseason so far has been fantastic. And the San Francisco Giants—Atlanta Braves series has been really fantastic.

In Game 1, we saw an all-time pitching performance from Tim Lincecum. In Game 2, we saw the Braves comeback on the Giants’ bullpen after the Giants took a 4-0 lead. And in Game 3, we saw a range of emotions in the final two innings like we haven’t seen in a very long time.

With the Giants holding a 1-0 lead going into the bottom of the eighth, Alex Gonzalez led off the inning with a single up the middle off of Jonathan Sanchez. Sanchez was pretty much unhittable up to that point (more on him later), and this single was a big break through.

After Brooks Conrad (more on him later too) failed to move the runner over, Giants’ manager Bruce Bochy decided that he would rather have Sergio Romo face Eric Hinske rather than Sanchez face Troy Glaus, who was announced as the pinch-hitter.

Sanchez was up to 105 pitches at that point, and I am not sure why Bochy didn’t stick with him. Sanchez threw more than 105 pitches 12 times during the season, so this wasn’t going to be foreign territory for him.

At that point all the Braves were able to muster were two measly singles. They showed no signs of figuring out Sanchez, and Glaus hasn’t been productive in three months.

Bochy went with Romo and boy did he pay for it. On a 2-2 pitch, Hinske roped a low tracer down the right field line that just barely went over the fence and just barely stayed fair. The pitch from Romo was supposed to be a Frisbee-like slider that was supposed to break down and in to the lefty, but it flattened out and hung right in the middle of the plate for Hinske.

Hinske flew around the bases with his hands raised and Turner Field was rocking. It was a pretty awesome sight, and just like that, the Braves had a 2-1 lead.

Without Billy Wagner, Bobby Cox went with Craig Kimbrel to close out the game. Kimbrel got Cody Ross to pop out to second and then the key AB of the game took place.

Travis Ishikawa hit for Romo and after falling behind 1-2 on the count, he worked a walk. That AB was the key to the inning and to the game. There is no way Kimbrel can walk Ishikawa in that spot.

Andres Torres struck out on a slider that seemed to go around the plate. Freddy Sanchez then singled up the middle (I’ll talk about this AB in a few) and then after Cox pulled Kimbrel, Aubrey Huff singled off of Mike Dunn to score Ishikawa.

Cox went to his third reliever of the inning and brought in Peter Moylan to face Buster Posey. Posey hit a routine grounder to second that went through Conrad’s legs to give the Giants a 3-2 lead. It was Conrad’s third error of the game and according to ESPN, it was the first time a non-throwing fielding error led to the go-ahead run in the ninth or later in a postseason game since the Bill Buckner game in 1986.

That is pretty amazing.

Brian Wilson came in and shut the door in the ninth and the Giants now have a 2-1 series lead. This was a relatively mundane game until the bottom of the eighth came knocking.

Here are some other observations from this game…

I don’t care if the Braves have to bring back Mark Lemke, there is no way they can keep running Conrad out there. He is terrible. Put Diory Hernandez out there.

Sanchez was the story until the wild eighth and ninth inning happened. He struck out 11 over 7.1 innings of work, and his slider was shades of Steve Carlton. Out of his 11 K’s, 10 of them were on the slider.

Tim Hudson was also very good in this game. After his marathon first inning, I didn’t think there was a chance he would make it past the fifth. He ended up going seven.

Can someone explain to me why Torres tried to steal third in that first inning? I didn’t understand it at the time because Torres on third wasn’t going to make a difference in the inning. He would have scored on a single regardless. Terrible play.

Can someone also explain to me why Cox pinch ran for Brian McCann with David Ross in the ninth? A catcher pinch running for a catcher? Why take your best hitter out of the lineup to gain a fraction if that of a speed advantage.

The pitch sequence to Sanchez in the ninth was horrific. The guy couldn’t catch up to Kimbrel’s fastball to save his life and McCann calls for a slider? That’s inexcusable.

The pitch Jason Heyward struck out on in the bottom of the ninth was about five inches outside. Terrible call in that spot.

Game 4 will be played Monday night at 8:37 PM est. The Braves will go with Derek Lowe on three days’ rest, while the Giants will counter with Madison Bumgarner.

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