Injuries have shown to be quite a problem for the Braves. They are now without Marcell Ozuna, who fractured two fingers on his left hand while sliding into third base in game one of this series. The Braves say it will take around six weeks for him to be able to come back and play. Ozuna may not have the strongest arm in the outfield, but he has big-time power at the plate that has been a huge bonus for the Braves in the lineup with him hitting behind Freddie Freeman. Braves’ manager, Brain Snitker, will now have to adjust his lineup in order to fill Ozuna’s gap while he is unable to play.
Game One: Charlie Morton vs. Garrett Richards, Braves won 3-1
Charlie Morton pitched extremely well for the Braves. He got off to a shaky start in the first inning, but was able to calm down, and pitch a gem for the rest of the game. Morton went seven innings, he allowed only three hits, one run, two walks, and he had nine strikeouts… nine! Charlie started off slow with Atlanta, but he seems to have gotten into his groove and has been giving the Braves good quality starts.
The Red Sox kept their 1-0 lead until the top of the third inning. William Contreras started off the inning with a walk, which was followed by a lineout of Acuña. Freddie Freeman came on with one out and had a first pitch single. Marcell Ozuna followed Freeman with an RBI single to tie the game at 1 apiece. Ozzie Albies followed Ozuna’s single with a fielders choice that scored Freeman giving the Braves the lead at 2-1. Marcell Ozuna was tagged out at third base to make the second out of the inning and that slide also led to his injury that I mentioned earlier. It’s going to be a huge difference not having him in the Braves lineup… especially since Ozuna was starting to look like the Marcell Ozuna the Braves had in the 2020 season.
The Braves scored their third and final run on an RBI double by Ronald Acuña Jr in the top of the sixth inning. Pablo Sandoval was the baserunner who scored for the Braves; he had reached base on a single. That run made it 3-1 Braves. It was good to see the Braves score without hitting a home run. The Braves lead ALL of Major League baseball in home runs. They have hit a grand total of 80… so far!
Game Two: Drew Smyly vs. Nick Pivetta, Braves lost 9-5
Rain delay games are never fun. I’m sure for players it’s hard to keep their momentum after having to be contained inside for a long period of time.
Drew Smyly started off pitching well for the Braves, giving up only three runs through the first five innings he had pitched. But he fell apart in the sixth inning. He lost his command and had baserunners everywhere. Then Luke Jackson was brought on in relief and he had a mess to get out of and eventually couldn’t.
The Braves started the scoring with a RBI triple by my man, Ozzie Albies, which gave the Braves a 1-0 lead, and then Dansby Swanson scored him on an RBI double to make it 2-0 after the top of the first. The Braves scored again in the top of the second on a sac fly by William Contreras to make it 3-o Braves. And then, in the top of the fifth inning, Austin Riley hit a solo home run making it 4-3 Braves on top.
After the Red Sox blew it open in the bottom the sixth inning and the rain delay, it was a 7-4 game, Sox on top. The Red Sox added onto their lead again in the bottom of the eighth inning on an error by Swanson that allowed a runner to score, and a sac fly that allowed another Red Sox runner to score, extending their lead to 9-4.
The Braves got one run closer on a solo home run by William Contreras in the top of the ninth to make it 9-5, but it ultimately wasn’t enough and the Red Sox held on for the win and a split series.
The Braves need some help… and they need it as soon as possible! Their starting pitching has improved quite a bit, but the bullpen still has some problems to be fixed. Hopefully when Shane Greene is ready to come up from Triple-A Gwinnett, that will add more stability in the bullpen. However, injuries are killing us. Injuries will happen, but the Braves have been hit with a ton of injuries that hurt a lot and have a long recovery time. Surely they will figure out something soon and get into a good groove!