The Braves stun the Reds with a walkoff grand slam

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Brooks Conrad celebration.jpgSweet sassy-molassy.

The Braves’ Brooks Conrad just hit a walk-off grand slam to give the Braves a dramatic come-from-behind win against the Reds.  Atlanta was down 8-0 after two innings. They were down 9-3 entering the bottom of the ninth.  When Arthur Rhodes struck out Jason Heyward with the bases juiced in the ninth, I figured it was over. Then Dusty went to Francisco Cordero and Conrad went yard.  The ball actually bounced out of Laynce Nix’s glove and over the fence. He should have been out, but it just didn’t go down like that.  You can see the video here.

You don’t have to be a Braves fan to appreciate the gravity of this one.  For good and for bad.  The Cincinnati Enquirer’s John Fay just tweeted that this was the the “most stunning loss” in his time covering the Reds.

But Braves fans enjoy this one. For my part, I was speechless for the first three minutes. Since then
I’ve been doing a little happy dance.

The season ain’t over yet.

Astros clinch postseason berth with 11-3 win over Angels

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No surprise here: The Astros are headed back to the postseason to defend their title following a landslide 11-3 win over the Angels on Friday. This figures to be their third playoff run since 2015, though they have yet to wrap up the AL West with a division title.

First baseman Yuli Gurriel led the charge on Friday, smashing a grand slam in the first inning and tacking on a two-run homer in the second and RBI single in the fifth to help the Astros to a seven-run lead. The Angels eventually returned fire, first with Mike Trout‘s 418-foot homer in the sixth, then with an RBI hit from Francisco Arcia in the seventh, but they couldn’t close the gap in time to overtake the Astros.

On the mound, right-hander Gerrit Cole clinched his 15th win of the year after holding the Angels to seven innings of three-run, 12-strikeout ball. His sixth strikeout of the night — delivered on an 83.1-MPH knuckle curveball to Kaleb Cowart — also marked the 1,000th strikeout of his career to date. He was backed by flawless performances by lefty reliever Tony Sipp and rookie right-hander Dean Deetz, both of whom turned in scoreless innings as the offense barreled toward an 11-3 finish with Jake Marisnick‘s sac bunt and George Springer‘s three-run shot in the eighth.

Despite having qualified for the playoffs, the Astros still carry a magic number of 6 as they look to clinch a third straight division title. They’re currently up against the Athletics, who entered Friday’s contest against the Twins just four games back of first place in the AL West.