Holbrook defended the call, even after he looked at the replay.
"Once that fielder established himself, he got ordinary effort," he said, referring to shortstop Pete Kozma calling for the ball, then veering away at the last moment as left fielder Holliday drifted in. "That's when the call was made."
The stoppage only delayed the inevitable. When play resumed, Brian McCann walked to load the bases but Michael Bourn struck out to end the threat. Dan Uggla grounded out with two aboard in the ninth to finish it, leading to one more wave of trash throwing as the umps scurried off the field.
The infield fly is a complicated rule, designed to prevent infielders from intentionally dropping a popup with more than one runner on base and perhaps get an extra out.
No one could ever remember it being applied like this. And, after past postseasons dotted by contested calls, this play will certainly lead to another slew of October cries for more instant replay.
"I was under it," Kozma said. "I should have made the play. I took my eyes off it. I was camped under it."
Added Matheny: "Guys could have made the whole thing a lot easier if we made the play."
Holliday homered in the sixth off Medlen, who had been baseball's most dominant starter over the final two months. The Braves had not lost a start by the diminutive right-hander since May 23, 2010 at Pittsburgh.
The Braves haven't won a playoff round since 2001. Since then, they've gone 0 for 7 — including six decisive losses at Turner Field.
David Ross, starting in place of the slumping, ailing McCann hit a two-run homer in the second inning off Lohse.
On the 1-2 pitch before the homer, Ross asked for time just before Lohse's delivery. Ross then swung and missed, but umpire Jeff Kellog granted the timeout.