Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 7/23/13
After watching teammate Mike Minor pitch a complete-game gem and lose Sunday at Chicago, it looked as if the Braves’ Julio Teheran might endure a similar fate Monday night against the Mets. Teheran pitched six crisp innings, but the Braves’ defense failed him a couple of times, and the offense did, too. Until the ninth inning. Johnson & Johnson came through big time in the top of the ninth, and Jason Heyward followed with a spectacular game-ending catch in the bottom of the inning for a stirring, 2-1 Braves win to open a four-game series at Citi Field. “That,” catcher Brian McCann said, “was great.” After loading the bases with one out in the seventh and failing to score, and getting a leadoff single in the eighth without scoring, the Braves broke through in the ninth, getting an RBI groundout from Chris Johnson and a two-out, pinch-hit RBI single by Reed Johnson for a 2-1 lead. That set the stage for Heyward. Craig Kimbrel hit John Buck with a pitch with one out in the ninth, and walked Omar Quintanilla on 10 pitches with two out. Justin Turner then hit a shot into the left-center gap for what looked like it might be a game-ending, two-run hit. But Heyward, playing center in his first game after an 11-day rehab from a hamstring strain, came from out of the picture, racing over from the right-center gap. He dove and fully extended his big body to catch the ball inches from the ground. “I knew I had to dive, because I didn’t think it was in my reach,” he said. “As I got closer I thought, obviously you’re going to try to make the play here with two outs, the game on the line. If you don’t catch it, so be it. But fortunately, I was able to get a good enough jump.” He rose to show he’d caught it, and teammates hugged Heyward as he came off the field. Many in an announced crowd of 25,111 looked stunned, some shaking their heads, other raising hands in astonishment.
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