This series for the Atlanta Braves – against their division rivals, the Philadelphia Phillies – was the start of the most crucial road trip of the season. At the end of the road trip, Atlanta will have played nine games in eight days: four against the Phillies and five against the New York Mets. So all of those games are within the Braves’ division, and I believe this series will make or break the Braves. If they don’t win at least one of the series, they will continue to get further and further back in the standing and have a much harder time at trying win the NL East, let alone trying to make it into the postseason.
Game One: Charlie Morton vs. Matt Moore, Braves won 7-2
This game was a great way for the Atlanta Braves to start this crucial series! Everything seemed to fire right on all cylinders.
Charlie Morton pitched very well. He went six innings, allowed four hits, two runs, four walks, and he had eight strikeouts. His command was good, he never really got into any trouble, and, for the most part, he was able to have control of the strike zone. His solid start from the mound was a key part of Atlanta’s win.
To start off the scoring for the Braves, Freddie Freeman had an RBI single that scored my man, Ozzie Albies, who reached base on a double in the previous at-bat.
Atlanta added onto their lead in the third inning. To start the inning, Charlie Morton struck out, and Joc Pederson grounded out to first. So with two outs, Ozzie and Freddie both had first pitch singles to keep the inning alive. Austin Riley then walked to load the bases. With two outs and the bases loaded, Dansby Swanson was up to bat. On the second pitch he saw, Swanson hit a GRAND SLAM to make it a 4-0 game – all Atlanta! That grand slam was the FIRST of Dansby Swanson’s career, and it was a good one!
The Braves scored yet another run in the top of the fourth when Orlando Arcia hit a solo home run. He knew it was gone right off the bat, and it went a long way!
Philadelphia scored two in the bottom of the seventh but couldn’t add on anymore runs. And, to score their final run, Austin Riley had a bases loaded walk in the top of the ninth to score Pablo Sandoval who reached base on a walk to start the ninth inning.
Game Two: Max Fried vs. Zack Wheeler, Braves lost 5-1
Lack of offense pretty much wraps up why the Braves didn’t win this game. Their pitching was good, but they gave up too many runs that Atlanta’s offense couldn’t make up for. We’ve seen it so much this season: they win one game and lose the next one (or two), over and over again.
Max Fried gave the Braves a pretty solid outing. He went five innings, allowed six hits, four runs, four walks, and he had six strikeouts. Fried hung a couple pitches and made a few mistakes, which the Phillis’ bats were all over.
The Braves scored their one and only run in the top of the third inning when Freddie Freeman had an RBI single to score Ozzie Albies, who had reached base on a double in the previous at-bat. That made it a 1-1 game. (The Phillies scored in the bottom of the first on a solo home run by J.T. Realmuto.
The Philadelphia Phillies scored four more times throughout the rest of the game, to make the final score 5-1, Philadelphia.
The Braves had a hard time producing offense in this game, but it was nice to see their bullpen only allow one run over four innings of relief. Atlanta’s bullpen seems to be getting better slowly but surely, and it’s nice to see them not blow a game every outing.
Game Three: Drew Smyly vs. Vince Velasquez, Braves won 15-3
Well, if you can’t tell by the score, this was an all-around good win for the Atlanta Braves. Their starting and relief pitching was very good, offense was through the roof, and defensively they did well!
Drew Smyly only went four innings, he left the game due to pain in his left knee. In those four innings he allowed three hits, zero runs, three walks, and he had three strikeouts. It would’ve been nice to have seen Smyly get the win, but obviously his health comes first, which is ultimately why he was taken out.
The Braves started off their scoring in the top of the first inning, when Freddie Freeman hit a two run home run to give them an early 2-0 lead. Abraham Almonte added onto their lead in the top of the second when he hit a solo home run, making it 3-0 Atlanta.
In the top of the third inning, Atlanta once again added onto their lead. Ozzie Albies started the inning with a ground out, and then Freeman followed him with a single. His single was followed by a walk to red-hot Austin Riley. Dansby Swanson had an RBI double that allowed Freddie to score, and advanced Riley to third, making it 4-0. Almonte had another hit – this time it was a two-RBI single that scored both Riley and Swanson, extending Atlanta’s lead to 6-0.
The Braves once again added onto their lead in the top of the sixth inning, on an RBI single by Joc Pederson that scored Guillermo Heredia, making it 7-0.
Philadelphia scored one run in the bottom of the sixth inning on an RBI double by Rhys Hoskins to make it a 7-1 game, Braves still on top.
As if they hadn’t scored enough runs already, the Atlanta Braves decided to add on some more! To start off the eighth inning, Guillermo Heredia reached base on a fielding error. Pablo Sandoval struck out to make the first out. Joc Pederson followed his strikeout with a single, and then my man Ozzie Albies, hit a gigantic three-run bomb making it 10-1 Atlanta. After Ozzie’s monstrous homer, Freeman walked and then Austin Riley hit a two-run shot, making it 12-1 Braves. WOW!
Philly got two more in the bottom of the eighth inning on an RBI fielder’s choice and a sac fly, to make it 12-3.
And then, to add the final blow for Atlanta, Joc Pederson ended his fantastic night at the plate with a three-run home run, making the final score 15-3 Atlanta. Way to go, Braves!
Game Four: Touki Toussaint vs. Aaron Nola, Braves lost 2-1
Touki Toussaint pitched extremely well for the Braves. He went seven innings, allowed five hits, one run, ZERO walks, and he had ten strikeouts… TEN! Not to mention he pitched a career high in innings-pitched. One slip-up cost Touki the game… but even though he got the loss, he pitched very well and should be proud. It is so nice to have Touki back in the lineup!
That one run Toussaint allowed came in the bottom of the fourth inning. Jean Segura hit a solo home run to make it 1-0 Phillies. They added onto that lead four innings later. In the bottom of the eighth inning, their second baseman Ronald Torreyes hit a solo home run to make it 2-0 Philadelphia.
The Braves scored their one and only run in the top of the ninth inning. It came on a two out, two-strike home run from Austin Riley to get Atlanta on the board, making it 2-1.
Atlanta didn’t have much luck against Aaron Nola, but at least they were able to score one off of him. But, again, here is where we see the struggles of Atlanta. They go from winning a game 15-3, and the next game they can’t produce any offense. This is yet another area where the Braves need to step it up if they have any hopes of making it to the playoffs.