The Braves won one out of three games in this series. They had a very, very good chance to win all three and sweep the Phillies. I firmly believe they should have won two of them.
Game One: Drew Smyly vs. Aaron Nola, Braves won 9-5
The Braves’ offense did what they are so good at in this game: keeping the score close and scoring multiple, needed extra runs late. They’re five-run eighth inning was HUGE for them to win this game.
Drew Smyly had a fairly good outing. He only went 4.1 innings, allowed five hits, three runs, three walks, and he had zero strikeouts. He only threw 80 pitches but he had some stressful innings and ultimately worked himself into a situation that he couldn’t get out of, so the Braves went to their bullpen.
The Atlanta offense started their scoring early. In the top of the first inning, after two quick outs by Ronald Acuña Jr. and Freddie Freeman, Ozzie Albies kept the inning alive with a walk. Austin Riley followed Ozzie with a single, and Ozzie, being so fast, was able to score all the way from first base giving the Braves a 1-0 lead! They scored again in the top of the third on a first pitch dinger by Acuña (his 18th) to left field making it 2-0.
The Phillies scored one in the bottom of the third, but the Braves came right back and scored another run in the top of the fourth inning on a solo home run by William Contreras. Contreras has had a few defensive concerns for the Braves, but he has some power at the plate. And given the situation he came up in, he’s doing a very good job!
The Phillies scored another run in the bottom of fourth on a solo home run by Bryce Harper (boo!). Once again, the Braves came right back and scored another run. This time it was on an RBI single by Freeman that scored Acuña who had led off with a double in his previous at bat.
In the bottom of the fifth and sixth innings, the Phillies rallied some runs and gave them the lead making it a 5-4 game.
Like I mentioned briefly before, the top of the eighth inning is where the Braves offense really came to life. After Ozzie grounded out to start the inning, Austin Riley had a massive solo home run to straight away center field tying the game at 5 apiece. Swanson got on base with a four pitch walk, and then he was followed by a one-pitch single by Abraham Almonte. Contreras scored Dansby on an RBI single and then Almonte scored on a force-out and error on the Phillies behalf giving the Braves a 7-5 lead. Ronald Acuña Jr scored the final two runs for the Braves on an RBI single, giving the game a final score of 9-5.
Game Two: Tucker Davidson vs. Zach Eflin, Braves lost 2-1
Pitching for both sides in this game was excellent. For the Braves, Davidson went six shutout innings, only allowing four hits, one walk and he had four strikeouts. In the few starts he has made for the Braves this year, he has been quite impressive!
The Braves scored their one run in the top of the sixth inning. Ozzie led off the inning with a first pitch single. After Austin Riley grounded into a double play, Dansby Swanson had a single, followed by another single off the bat of Abraham Almonte, which was followed by yet another single by William Contreras. Contreras’ single was an RBI single and gave the Braves a 1-0 lead.
In the bottom of the ninth inning, Will Smith came on to pitch for the Braves. His ONE JOB was to preserve a 1-0 win for Atlanta… he was not able to do that. Yes, having a 1-0 lead that late in the game has to be quite stressful on a pitcher, but Will Smith ended up hurting himself. After he got a strikeout to start the inning, he walked Andrew McCutchen. In a close game, walks will KILL YOU, and this one did for sure. Brad Miller popped out to Ozzie at second base for the second out of the inning, and then Phillies rookie, Luke Williams hit a two-run homer to walk it off for Philadelphia with final score of 2-1.
If Will Smith had not allowed the walk, Williams’ home run would’ve only been a solo shot and tied the game instead of ending it. That was a tough way for the Braves to lose the game, but there was nothing they could do about it.
Game Three: Ian Anderson vs. Zack Wheeler, Braves lost 4-3
Once again, this was a game that the Braves should have won, but in the end couldn’t pull the trigger.
Ian Anderson pitch extremely well for the Braves. He went seven scoreless innings, only allowing four hits and one walk. He also had a total of four strikeouts.
The Phillies were the first to score. They scored one on an RBI single by Jean Segura in the bottom of the eighth inning. The Braves tied the game on a solo home run by Freddie Freeman in the top of the ninth inning, making it 1-1. The Phillies offense came up empty in the bottom of the ninth inning so the game went to extra innings.
In the top of the tenth, the Braves scored two runs. All of their baserunners came via walks and the two runners that scored, scored on a wild pitch and a passed ball.
Remember… the new extra innings rule is that the last player to hit for each team is placed on second base to start the inning. That placed runner for the Phillies was Rafael Marchan. Alec Bohm had an RBI single for the Phillies to make it a 3-2 game and then Jean Segura walked the Phillies off on a walk-off single to make the final score 4-3.
Relief pitching really hurt the Braves in the last two games of this series. The relievers made too many pitches and hurt themselves with walks.
Once again sorry for the delayed rap-up… still recovering from being out of town without cell service