Coming into this series I was expecting low scoring, pitcher duels, and I was right. Both teams’ pitchers threw well, and in the end it was the little things that led each team to win one game. Two things to note before I dig into each game individually:
- Ozzie Albies was back in the lineup for this series verses the Yankees (yay!)
- Ronald Acuña Jr. did not play in this series to give him a couple of days off to recover from the minor injury he had on Sunday verses the Cubs when he slid head first into first base and into score.
Game One: Charlie Morton vs. Jameson Taillon, Braves lost 3-1
This game was certainly a pitchers’ duel. Both Morton and Taillon pitched very well. Each pitcher gave up one run and were very close in every way in their pitching performances. Morton went six innings, gave up the one run, and had six strike outs. The one run he surrendered was on a solo home run by Gio Urshela. The Braves’ one run was scored on a double by Ehire Adrianza in the top of the third, which allowed Guillermo Heredia to score. Ozzie Albies was 0-3 with a walk at the plate in his first game back after getting hit with a pitch on the knee against the Cubs on Friday.
Okay, for the seventh inning for the Braves the bullpen was very good. But when they got to the bottom of the eighth inning, things got choppy. Tyler Matzek is normally very good for the Braves in relief innings, but in this game, he didn’t have his stuff together. He had two hits and a walk and was yet to retire a batter, so Brian Snitker made the bullpen change and brought Nate Jones into the game. Jones ended up having a wild pitch and a walk, which led the final two Yankee runners to score. However, he inherited those runners so they were charged to Matzek. That was all the Yankees needed to claim the win in game one.
Game Two: Ian Anderson vs. Corey Kluber, Braves won 4-1
Let’s put it this way, this was Ian Anderson and Austin Riley’s game. Anderson pitched 6.2 scoreless innings, with only four hits, four walks, and four strikeouts. He had such better command of his pitch count, the strike zone, and getting balls on the ground in this game. Austin Riley was a huge component in the Braves’ scoring today. He was 2 for 2, with two walks. He scored three times! His biggest hit was his go-ahead, solo home run in the top of the ninth inning off of Brooks Kriske. He had a much better approach at the plate in this game, and it paid off big time. The Braves bullpen pitched well. They had one blemish, a RBI single off of Will Smith by Clint Frazier in the bottom of the ninth inning. After that, the Braves sealed the win off of the Yankees!