My Offseason Predictions: Who I Think the Braves Should Re-Sign

Now that the World Series is over, it’s now time to start looking into the offseason. 2021 was a very exciting season, especially for the Atlanta Braves! #worldchamps They had a rough start but came through big-time at the trade-deadline. That being so, a lot of the players they acquired are now going to be free agents.

Here’s a look at the Braves 2021-22 free agents:

Ehire Adrianza (SS), Jesse Chavez (RHP), Freddie Freeman (1B), Chris Martin (RHP), Joc Pederson (OF), Tanner Roark (RHP), Eddie Rosario (OF), Jorge Soler (OF), Drew Smyly (LHP), Josh Tomlin- he has a club option (RHP), and Stephen Vogt (C).

There are a lot of names on this list, obviously some stick out more than others. Every single one of these guys on this list helped the Braves get to their World Series title in some way or another, and you would want to keep every single one. But realistically, that won’t happen.

Freddie Freeman. He is BY FAR the biggest name on this list. It is crazy to think about a Braves team without Freddie. Freeman has been with Atlanta for his entire career, and he has been the face of the team for many years now.. Through the highs and lows, Freddie Freeman has always been here, giving everything he’s got in him to help his team win. Personally, I don’t think the Braves will let Freeman go. Millions of Braves fans would be very disappointed if they did!

The Braves front office has offered Freeman a qualifying offer of 18.4 million dollars for one year. This isn’t another long-term offer like the one Freeman signed back in 2014, so he will most likely reject the offer. However, Freddie has made it very clear he wants to remain with the Braves for the rest of his life, and the front office and the whole team wants that as well. It’s just a matter of time, money, and negotiations.

Joc Pederson, Eddie Rosario, Jorge Soler, and Adam Duvall are all outfielders. With Ronald Acuña Jr. expected to come back and play outfield full time in 2022, it wouldn’t make much sense for the Braves to resign all of these players and let them sit on the bench and have an occasional pinch-hit appearance. It wouldn’t be fair to these very talented players, and it would not make the most sense for the team as a whole.

Joc Pederson. Pederson has declined his mutual option with the the Braves and has now become a free agent. Because of this, in my opinion, resigning Pederson is completely off the table for Atlanta.

Adam Duvall. Like Pederson, Duvall also declined his mutual option, but he is still Arbitration-Eligible. With the strong possibility of there being a universal DH in 2022, Duvall, a very powerful hitter, could fill that role for Atlanta. However, he is quite a good defender. He played every single position in the outfield for the Braves, and sometimes he would switch positions during games. He also won his first Gold Glove this year, proving his defense is better than most give him credit for. Duvall has come through for the Braves in the three seasons he has played for them. I think it would make sense for Atlanta to bring him back as an outfielder.

Jorge Soler. This man not only has a big stature, but BIG power. Soler came over to Atlanta after the trade deadline and was huge for the Braves. He brought big-time power to their offense and filled their leadoff spot. He also came through huge in the postseason. He hit a home run that left the Houston Astros ballpark in game six!!! To me, it would make sense for the Braves to resign Soler. Once again, with the strong possibility of the DH, it makes a lot of sense to bring him back to fill that roll. After all, when he was with the Kansas City Royals, he was their DH. And, he isn’t the greatest defender, but he has a very good eye at the plate and a lot of power. I think it would be a great decision for Atlanta to bring Soler on as our DH (should we have one).

Eddie Rosario. Talk about an exciting player! Not only was he the NLCS MVP, he had some other huge moments for the Braves in the short time that he played. After all, the Atlanta Braves front office signed him while he was injured, because they saw his possibility. Yes, he wasn’t known to be a great defender, but he made some very good plays for Atlanta while he was in left field. So, I think it would make sense to resign him with Marcell Ozuna’s legal affairs still up in the air, and not anticipating the Braves to resign him.

After going through the bigger names on this list, there are still some others on here that proved useful for the Braves: Jesse Chavez and Ehire Adrianza, especially.

Adrianza came through being on the Braves’ bench. He proved he could come off the bench and come up with a clutch hit…which is what your bench players are supposed to do. Johann Camargo was the Braves bench man, but he did not have a single hit for Atlanta this year, so he will start next year in Triple-A Gwinnett. It makes sense for the Braves to resign Ehire to add extra depth to their bench, but if the DH does come to the National League, a bench player wouldn’t necessarily be needed.

Jesse Chavez pitched very well for the Braves in his appearances. He was their opener for a couple games, and got Atlanta out of some tough spots in close games. While a player like Chris Martin is also a free agent and has pitched for Atlanta, Chavez was overall more constant. To me, that gives him the edge on being resigned.

After a review on these players, here is who I think the Atlanta Braves should bring back: Freddie Freeman, Adam Duvall, Jorge Soler, Eddie Rosario, Ehire Adrianza, and Jesse Chavez.

These are just my picks, and of course, I don’t have any say in who the Atlanta Braves bring back. It will be an interesting offseason for the Braves, and hopefully the decisions they make won’t hurt them in the long run!


Wow. This is really happening!!!! The Atlanta Braves are in the World Series!! Words cannot begin to describe how exciting this is, and I can’t even imagine how pumped the entire Braves team and coaching staff is. The staff has every reason to be this excited because this is Atlanta’s first World Series appearance since 1999. That was 22 years ago! It was HUGE for the Braves to make it to the World Series, but now that they have made it…they have a bigger goal on their minds. 🙂

Where in the world would this team be without Eddie Rosario?!? It’s safe to say that Atlanta would not have had the success in the NLCS that they had without Rosario. He had a total of 14 hits, three home runs, a walk off, and nine RBI’s. That is insane! Rosario came to the Braves as an injured player…he was unable to play. However, this acquisition for the Atlanta Braves came through big time, even if they had to wait a little while before Eddie could actually play. But when he could play for this Braves team, we quickly realized he was worth the wait. Not only could he make some good plays in left field, but man…he can hit! His bat provided some series pop for Atlanta’s offense.

This entire NLCS was huge for the Braves. They were playing the LA Dodgers, who beat them in last year’s NLCS with a disappointing game seven. LA went on to win the World Series in 2020. Brian Snitker’s Braves wanted NONE of that this year. Yes, the Dodgers had gotten Max Scherzer and Trea Turner from the Nationals, and arguably they had one of the best pitching staffs in all of MLB. BUT that did not scare Atlanta. In fact, the Braves’ hitters beat up on all three of LA’s aces –Max Scherzer, Julio UrĂ­as, and Walker Buehler. That is very impressive because usually those guys are un-hittable. *Clayton Kershaw was not on the postseason roster due to injury.

The Atlanta Braves had two walk-offs; one in game one by Austin Riley, and the other in game two, by Eddie Rosario. Both walk-off singles came in the bottom of the ninth inning and sent Truist Park into a frenzy! Those were just two of the incredible hits the Braves had in moments where they needed them most.

Starting pitching wasn’t as great as expected, but the bullpen was beyond impressive. Except for the one home run that Luke Jackson gave up to Cody Bellinger in game three, Atlanta’s bullpen was, pretty much lights-out. We have to give SO much credit to Tyler Matzek. Every single time he came out of that bullpen for the Braves, he was on point. You could tell from his expression on the mound and the accuracy of his pitches that he was zoned in. Another pitcher who was great from the bullpen was closer Will Smith. Smith had a rollercoaster regular season as the Braves closer. It seemed that every time he was on the mound, he got himself into a situation that did not look good. He was TOTALLY different in the postseaon. In almost every appearance he was three up, three down. He did give up an occasional walk or single, but nothing too serious or nerve-wracking. Bullpen pitching was crucial to the Atlanta Braves in this series, and the pitchers coming out of our bullpen, did not disappoint.

It is still hard to grasp that after everything that this Braves team has gone through in 2021 (losing Acuña not getting Soroka back, staying at .500 for the longest time) they did not give up for one second. And now, all that hard work and perseverance has paid off. Atlanta is the National League Champs! They beat the Los Angelas Dodgers in six games, at home in Truist Park, and are now headed to the World Series where they will face the Houston Astros to see who will win the title of World Series Champs.


The Atlanta Braves Clinch the NL East For the FOURTH Year in a Row!!

Wow! What a series this was, and what a season this has been for our Atlanta Braves. So many things led up to this fourth annual Division Title. And I feel this was the most rewarding of them all.

When the Braves lost Ronald Acuña Jr. on July 11 with a torn ACL, so many people gave up hope on Atlanta saying, “How can we win without Acuña?”. Let me tell you…my faith in what these Atlanta Braves can do did not waver one bit. If anything, I felt that since so many people gave up on the Braves, that they would be even better and knock everyone’s socks off with how good they could be. Atlanta definitely proved every single one of those doubters wrong! 🙂

When you think about how the Braves got to this clinch there are so many things that come to mind. But I firmly believe the most significant of those is all the trade deadline deals made by Alex Anthpoulos, the Atlanta Braves general manager. He went out and got Joc Pederson, Adam Duvall, Jorge Soler, Richard Rodriguez, Stephen Vogt, and Eddie Rosario. Joc Pederson came earlier in the season, but he has still played a big part in this comeback season for Atlanta.

After the deadline and the new players started playing for the Braves, it was like things just started to click. In August, Atlanta won nine games in a row and didn’t look back. In those nine games, the Braves went from being in fourth place in the NL East standings, to being in first place. That is HUGE!

Once the Braves got to first place, it still wasn’t easy. The Mets had gone on a losing streak, but the Philadelphia Phillies had gotten hot fast and were in second place in the division and kept the race interesting. I think it made their clinch even better for it to be against the Phillies – their biggest rivals. For the Atlanta Braves to have gone through everything that they went through, to fight their way back into the division race and maintain first place, this was a very memorable game and season for the Braves.

I can’t wait to see what the Postseason has in store for them!!

Braves vs. Reds Series Wrap

Another series win for the Atlanta Braves! It seems like things are finally -FINALLY – starting to click for the Braves. Not only do they have a wining record, but they are playing better baseball and are winning multiple games in a row.

Game One: Drew Smyly vs. Sonny Gray, Braves won 3-2

Drew Smyly pitched very well for the Braves. He went six innings, allowed only two hits, two runs, two walks, and he had seven strikeouts. Smyly never really got into any trouble. After he gave up a two-run home run in the top of the second inning, he was lights out. He had good command of the strike zone, didn’t have many full counts, and had control over his pitches.

To get the Cincinnati Reds on the board, Aristides Aquino, the Reds young outfielder, hit a two run home run in the second inning.

In the bottom of the fourth inning after two quick outs from Freddie Freeman and Austin Riley, Dansby Swanson reared base on a walk. With two out and one on, Adam Duvall was up to bat. On the very first pitch he saw…Duvall hit it out of the ballpark for a two-run homer and made it a tied game 2-2.

Atlanta scored their third and final run in the bottom of the sixth inning. Austin Riley led off that inning with a first-pitch single, Dansby Swanson followed Riley with a walk. To make the first out of the inning, Adam Duvall had a strikeout. So with one out, Joc Pederson walked to load the bases. Stephen Vogt drew a bases loaded walk to make it a 3-2 game.

The Braves’ bullpen was able to hold onto a tight lead late, and that led Atlanta to a game one victory.

Game Two: Touki Toussaint vs. Wade Miley, Braves won 8-6

Whew. What a game! It was an especially great game for Ozzie Albies. 🙂 and it was GREAT to see Braves catcher, Travis d’Arnaud back on the field. He was certainly missed!

Touki Toussaint pitched five innings. He allowed four hits, two runs, three walks, and he had five strikeouts. Toussaint didn’t have a bad outing. He just ran into some trouble a couple times. Luckily, he didn’t surrender more than two runs. Touki could’ve possibly pitched later into the game, but his high pitch-count of 97 is what ultimately drove him out of the game.

Bottom of the first inning. Ozzie Albies led off the inning with a single. Jorge Soler walked-in the next at-bat. After Freeman flew out on the first pitch he saw, Austin Riley was up to bat. Austin hit a booming RBI double into center field. Ozzie easily scored from second base. Soler tried to score, but he was thrown out to make the second out of the inning. But the Braves still got on the board making it a 1-0 game.

Bottom of the second inning. Adam Duvall leads of the inning with a walk. Travis d’Arnaud lined out to make the first out of the inning. It was SO good to see Travis back on the field! He missed 86 games with a torn ligament in his left thumb. With one out, Guillermo Heredia was up to bat. He hit a two-run dinger into the seats in left center field. His home run extended Atlanta’s lead, 3-0.

Bottom of the third inning. Freddie Freeman led off the inning with a single. Austin Riley hit another double that scored Freeman. Freddie was originally called out at home plate, but after review, it was overturned and Freeman was safe! That made it 4-0 Braves. Austin scored on a sac fly by Swanson to make it a 5-0 Atlanta lead.

In the top of the sixth inning, Cincinnati got on the board. Joey Votto hit a two-run shot making it a 5-2 game. In the top of the eighth inning, Eugenio Suarez hit an RBI double making it a 5-3 game.

Top of the ninth inning: Atlanta needs three outs to win the game. Will Smith is on the mound and things don’t look good. He got the first out of the inning, but then hit Nick Castellanos with a pitch. On the very next pitch he threw, Will Smith surrendered a two-run home run to Joey Votto – his second of the game. That tied the game at 5-5. Smith got out of the inning without surrendering anymore runs, but not before blowing the game.

The Braves didn’t score in the bottom of the ninth inning, and neither team scored in the tenth inning.

Top of the eleventh inning: **remember the new extra-innings rule automatically places a runner on second base for each team** Edgar Santana is pitching for Atlanta. The first batter he faced was Kyle Farmer. He gave up an RBI single that scored the runner from second base and made it a 6-5 game, Cincinnati on top. Santana was able to get out of the inning without giving up any more runs.

Bottom of the eleventh inning: Adam Duvall is the runner placed on second for the Braves. d’Arnaud and Heredia made the first two outs of the inning, and then Joc Pederson walked to keep the game alive. It was all up to Ozzie Albies. With two outs, Ozzie worked a 2-1 count. On the fourth pitch of his AB, he crushed an absolute BOMB into the Chop House seats for a WALK-OFF three-run home run!!!

It was amazing. Not only did Ozzie walk it off for Atlanta…but my man started and ended the game with a hit.

Game Three: Kyle Muller vs. Vladimir Gutierrez, Braves lost 12-3

I think it’s safe to say that this game didn’t go how anyone in Braves country thought it would. Kyle Muller had been producing such solid starts for Atlanta. But this was not one of those.

Over just 2.1 innings, Muller allowed five hits, six runs, three walks, and he only had one strikeout. It’s clear to say he did not have his best stuff. His pitches were all over the place, and he didn’t have good command. He kept getting himself into trouble and couldn’t get out of it.

Despite their blow-out loss, Atlanta scored the first run of the game. It came in the bottom of the first on a Dansby Swanson RBI-single that scored Jorge Soler who reached base on a walk earlier in the inning. Swanson’s RBI single made it a 1-0 game Braves on top.

That lead did not last long. In the top of the second inning, Reds left fielder, Jesse Winker hit a grand slam to make it a 4-1 game. They scored FIVE more runs in the top of the third inning making it a 9-1 game. Cincinnati made it an 11-1 game in the top of the sixth when Kyle Farmer hit a two run homer.

In the bottom of the seventh inning; my man- Ozzie Albies hit a solo home run. It went a long way, and even though the Braves were still down nine, it gave the fans and the team something to celebrate. His homer made it an 11-2 game.

The Reds scored their twelfth and final run in the top of the ninth inning. It came from Tyler Stephenson against Edgar Santana, and it was the first pitch thrown that inning. That made it a 12-2 game.

In the bottom of the ninth inning Joc Pederson scored on a wild pitch to make it a 12-3 game.

This was a good series for Atlanta- they have started rolling and winning consecutive games in a row. This is leading them in the right direction, and if they can keep this up they will have a great chance of making the postseason!

Braves vs. Mets Series Wrap

This was a crucial five game series for the Atlanta Braves. The New York Mets are in first place in the National League East and are the Braves biggest threat. Atlanta did take three out of five games in the series, but after the whole series, they only gained one game on the Mets.

Game One: Kyle Muller vs. Marcus Stroman, Braves won 2-0; game one of doubleheader

This was a well-played game of baseball for the Braves. Their starting pitching was excellent- so was the bullpen, and Atlanta’s hitters provided just enough offense to allowed them to beat the Mets in this game.

Kyle Muller pitched excellent. He went five innings, allowed four hits, ZERO runs, two walks, and three strikeouts. Muller’s outing on the mound was solid. His stuff was good, he had good command of the strike zone and his pitch count. Not to mention he had a single and scored. His impressive start was the foundation of the Braves win.

In the top of the third inning Guillermo Heredia led off with a double, Kyle Muller followed him with a single, and then Joc Pederson had an RBI-double that scored Heredia and got the Braves on the board with a 1-0 lead.

Atlanta scored their second and final run in the top of the fourth inning. Dansby Swanson led off that inning with a double, and was followed with a single by Stephen Vogt that advanced Swanson to third. Orlando Arcia grounded into a force-out that got Vogt out at second. However, Arcia’s out scored Dansby from third and made it a 2-0 Braves lead.

The Braves bullpen came on and was lights out. Combined, Tyler Matzek and Will Smith went two innings, allowed only one hit, zero runs, zero walks, and one strikeout. They backed up a solid start from Kyle Muller with a good bullpen outing, which led to a Braves win.

Game Two: Bryse Wilson vs. Aaron Loup, Braves lost 1-0; game two of doubleheader

This was a low-scoring, suspenseful game for both the Braves and the Mets. Unfortunately, Atlanta’s bullpen had one slip-up that cost them a run, and that run cost them the game.

Bryse Wilson had a decent outing for Atlanta. He only went three innings. But in those three innings he allowed four hits, ZERO runs, one walk, and he had two strikeouts. This outing for Wilson was much better than the previous ones he had made for the Braves.

Atlanta’s bullpen was doing a very good job in relief of Bryse Wilson. However, in the bottom of the fifth inning, with Luke Jackson on the mound, Jeff McNeil had an RBI double that scored Brandon Nimmo from first who reached base via a single earlier that inning. McNiel’s double gave the Mets the lead at 1-0 and that was the ONLY run scored in that ENTIRE game.

Despite Luke Jackson surrendering the only run of the game, Atlanta’s bullpen pitched very well, and it was a very well-played game of baseball. It just would’ve been better if the Braves could have pulled together some offense and won!

Game Three: Charlie Morton vs. Jerad Eickhoff, Braves won 12-5

Atlanta played this game very well from all standpoints. Their offense was fantastic, starting pitching was very good, and the bullpen was great.

Charlie Morton pitched five innings for the Braves, allowed five hits, three runs, two walks, and he had five strikeouts. I was surprised that Brian Snitker took Morton out after only five innings. His pitch count wasn’t high – only 89 pitches, and he hadn’t had many high-stress situations. I don’t know if he was simply tired or if Snitker saw something that Morton did that he didn’t like… I guess we’ll never know.

The Braves started their scoring early and kept scoring throughout the entire game!

In the top of the first inning, Ehire Adrianza was hit by a pitch to start the game. Ozzie Albies and Freddie Freeman followed him with back-to-back walks to load the bases with Braves and no outs. Austin Riley grounded into a force out, which got Adrianza out at home and allowed Austin to stand on first with one out. With one out, Dansby Swanson was up to bat. He hit a booming double into left field that scored Ozzie and Freeman, making it 2-0 Braves.

Atlanta scored again in the top of the second inning when my man, Ozzie Albies hit a first-pitch, two-run bomb into the seats in right field. It was loud and it went far! His home run gave the Braves a 4-0 lead. Abraham Almonte added on to the Braves lead it the top of the third inning with a two-run homer that scored Swanson and make it 6-0 all Atlanta!

In the bottom of the third inning, the Mets got on the board when Pete Alonso hit an RBI single making a 6-1 game.

To start off the top of the fourth inning, Charlie Morton had a single. Adrianza followed Morton with a double that advanced Charlie to third. Albies struck out to make the first out of the inning, and then Freddie Freeman was intentionally walked to load the bases with Braves. With the bases loaded, Austin Riley was up to bat. Austin hit a GRAND SLAM to left field to make it a 10-1 Atlanta lead! He had been red-hot in the previous series with the Phillies, and in the beginning of this series. His bat has come to life for Atlanta when they’ve needed him most, and he came through big in that situation.

In the bottom of the fifth inning, New York made it a 10-3 three game when Jeff McNiel hit a two-run homer, which allowed Brandon Drury to score. Drury reached base earlier in that inning with a single.

The Braves scored their last two runs in the top of the sixth inning. Austin Riley hit another home run – his second of the night, a two-run shot that scored Freeman and made it a 12-3 game- all Atlanta.

The Mets got two runs closer in the bottom of the seventh inning when Brandon Drury hit a two-run home run, making it a 12-5 game. But they couldn’t conjure up any more offense, and the Braves won with a final score of 12-5.

Game Four: Max Fried vs. Tylor Megill, Braves lost 2-1

Well, if you wanted another suspenseful game, this was it.

Max Fried pitched great for Atlanta. He went seven innings, allowed five hits, two runs, two walks, and he had nine strikeouts. Fried never had any real high-stress pitches. He just hung two pitches to two different New York batters, and that cost him a win, and the game for Atlanta.

The Mets got on the board first when their second baseman, Jeff McNiel had an RBI single that scored pitcher Tyler Megill to give them a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the third.

Atlanta tied the game in the top of the sixth inning when red-hot Riley hit a gigantic solo home run to straight away center. His home run made it a 1-1 game, and got the Braves back into the game.

However, in the bottom of the seventh inning, the Mets broke the scoreless tie when Brandon Drury hit a solo home run making it a 2-1 game; New York on top. Fried hung a curveball over the plate and Drury did not miss it. A rare mistake from Max Fried was the difference in the game.

Atlanta had a chance to score in the top of the ninth inning, but a good, strong throw from Mets’ right fielder didn’t allowed that to happen, and New York sealed their 2-1 win.

Game Five: Drew Smyly vs. Taijuan Walker, Braves won 6-3

Drew Smyly only pitched four innings. In those four innings he allowed nine hits, three runs, one walk, and he had six strikeouts. He only threw 85 pitches, but he had runners all over the place in all four of those inning and it was a miracle Smyly didn’t surrender more than three runs to the Mets.

New York started the scoring in the bottom of the third inning when Dominic Smith had an RBI-single that scored Brandon Nimmo, to give the Mets a 1-0 lead. Smith was thrown out by Joc Pederson in right field while trying to advance to second base.

In the top of the fourth inning, the Braves got on the board with a two-run bomb from Austin Riley that scored my man Ozzie albies (he walked to start off the fourth inning) and gave Atlanta a 2-1 lead. Following a groundout by Dansby Swanson, Abraham Almonte hit a solo home run extending the Braves lead to 3-1.

Atlanta added onto their lead again in the top of the fifth inning. Guillermo Heredia led off the inning with a single. He was followed by a strikeout of Drew Smyly and then Joc Pederson singled, advancing Heredia to third. So with two on and one out, Ozzie Albies was up to bat. Ozzie had an RBI-single that scored Heredia and made it a 4-1 game. After my man, Ozzie’s single, Freddie Freeman struck out. With two outs, and still two on, Austin Riley was up to bat. He hit another Atlanta RBI-single that scored Pederson and made it 5-1 Braves.

The Mets got new life in the game when Pete Alonso hit a two-run home run in the bottom of the fifth inning. His home run made it a 5-3 game.

However, in the top of the eighth inning, Dansby Swanson hit a solo home run making it 6-3. His home run gave Atlanta some insurance, and the motivation to push through and win.

This was a crucial series win for Atlanta. If they got swept by the Mets, let alone lost four of the five games, the Braves’ shot of making the postseason would have been as good as gone. But no, our beloved Atlanta Braves won the series and still have a shot in the division. However, in order for that to happen, the Braves need to really focus on winning games – and winning more than one game in a row. Atlanta has not won any consecutive games in a row since before the All-Star break. That has to change…and soon!!

Braves vs. Phillies Series Wrap

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.

Braves vs. Rays Sereis Wrap

Words cannot describe the frustration of a series like this. Atlanta could have – and should have – won the entire series. Instead, with the help of their bullpen, they blew two of the games and only won one. The Braves’ starting pitching was good in this series, so was their offense; but not the bullpen. With the trade deadline coming up, I’m sure that Atlanta’s front office will be looking for some bullpen help.

Game One: Charlie Morton vs. Michael Wacha, Braves lost 7-6

Charlie Morton did not pitch a bad game at all. Like usual, it was the bullpen that blew the game. Morton went six innings, allowed six hits, three runs, three walks, and he had eight strikeouts.

Tampa Bay started the scoring in the top of the second inning where they scored two runs. They maintained that 2-0 lead until the bottom of the fourth inning in which the Braves hit two home runs. One was a two-run shot by Austin Riley that allowed my Ozzie to score and tie the game at two apiece. The other one was a solo shot by Dansby Swanson to give Atlanta the lead 3-2.

The Rays’ first baseman, Ji-Man Choi, tied the game with a solo home run in the top of the fifth. However, Atlanta’s offense was having none of that. Freddie Freeman hit a two-run homer in the bottom of the fifth to give the Braves a 5-3 lead.

The Rays got one run closer in the top of the seventh on a sac fly by Austin Meadows to make it 5-4. However, just like in the fifth inning, the Braves came right back and scored yet another run. This time it was on an RBI single by Orlando Arcia that scored Freeman and extended Atlanta’s lead to 6-4.

Although the Braves had a decent lead, their bullpen blew it. In the top of the eighth inning, Chris Martin was pitching for the Braves. He gave up two RBI singles to tie the game at six apiece. Martin has, for the most part, been lights out for Atlanta this season. However, he did not have his best stuff and ultimately blew the game for the Braves. The game went into extra innings, and Jesse Chavez wasn’t able to keep the tie; he allowed the Rays to score, making it a 7-6 loss for Atlanta.

Game Two: Max Fried vs. Josh Fleming, Braves won 9-0

Everything went right for the Braves in this game. Starting and bullpen pitching were excellent, defensively they were without error, and offensively they were working on all cylinders. Atlanta has games like this one scattered about this season, but unfortunately they haven’t been consistent with them.

Max Fried pitched excellent for the Braves. He went seven innings, allowed only four hits, ZERO runs, one walk, and he had seven strikeouts. Fried’s stuff was very good. He had great control over where his pitches were going, how deep his counts got towards the hitters he was facing, and everything in between. Not to mention… Max was 3-for-three at the plate! He had two singles and a two-RBI double. WOW! He was very impressive all around in this game for Atlanta!

The Atlanta Braves broke the scoreless tie in the bottom of the fourth inning. Freddie Freeman led off that inning with a first-pitch single, and then my man Ozzie Albies had an RBI double that scored Freeman. After that, Ozzie advanced to third on a fielding error by the Rays’ center fielder. Austin Riley then scored Ozzie with a sac fly to make the score 2-0 Braves. Orland Arcia had a ground out to make the second out of inning. Guillermo Heredia kept the inning alive and then Tampa Bay’s starting pitcher, Josh Fleming intentionally walked Braves catcher Kevan Smith to get to Max Fried (who was 1-for-1 with a single). Guess what Max did?!? He had a two-RBI double that scored Heredia and Smith making it a 4-0 game. And then, to add the final blow of that inning, Joc Pederson hit a two-run dinger making it 6-0, all Atlanta!

To add onto their lead, Freddie Freeman hit a solo home run in the bottom of the fifth to make it 7-0. And in the bottom of the sixth inning, Dansby Swanson had an RBI double that scored Kevan Smith and advanced Max Fried to third, making it 8-0. Then, to score the final run, Freeman had a sac fly to score Fried from third base.

From that point on, Atlanta’s pitching was lights-out and preserved a 9-0 shut out!

Game Three: Drew Smyly vs. Rich Hills, Braves lost 7-5

I can’t tell you how disappointing games like this one are. Atlanta should have won. There’s no going around it. They had the lead almost the entire game. Their starting pitch was good, and they provided multiple runs. But the Braves’ bullpen is so unstable, it’s just frustrating. Brian Snitker brought their least reliable bullpen pitcher onto pitch, A.J. Minter. And Minter did nothing good for the Braves, but instead he gave up the lead… and the game.

Drew Smyly did not pitch a bad game for the Atlanta Braves. He went 5.2 innings, allowed four hits, three runs, two walks and he had six strikeouts. Overall, his stuff wasn’t bad, he just misplaced a couple of pitches and the Rays didn’t miss them.

The Braves got off to a good start. In the bottom of the first inning, my man, Ozzie Albies had an RBI double that scored Freddie Freeman making it 1-0 Atlanta.

Atlanta scored two more in the bottom of the fourth inning. One on an RBI double by Guillermo Heredia that scored Orlando Arcia, and the other on an RBI groundout to make it 3-0 Braves.

In the fifth and sixth innings, Tampa Bay came on and tied the game at three apiece.

Joc Pederson broke the tie in the bottom of the sixth inning when he had an RBI double that scored Braves’ catcher Stephen Vogt, making it 5-4, Atlanta back on top.

However, in the top of the seventh inning, A.J. Minter blew the game for the Braves. He allowed three runs, giving the Rays the lead.

Atlanta got one run closer in the bottom of the seventh when Stephen Vogt had an RBI single to score Freeman. However, the Braves couldn’t pull anything else off, so the final score remained at 7-5, Rays.

Overall, this was a frustrating series for our Atlanta Braves. They should have won the entire series… definitely game three, but as we saw, bad relief pitching will take away a win in a heartbeat.

** After game three of this series A.J. Minter was sent down to Triple-A Gwinnett. Hopefully he will learn how to pitch well again and become a key asset in the Braves bullpen.

A Wrap of the Braves First Half of the Season

To say the least, it was a chaotic, unstable, and disappointing first half for the Atlanta Braves. They did not end the first half of the season with a winning record, let alone a .500 record. They entered the All-Star break with a losing record of 44-45.

Inconsistency was a big factor in that. Their pitching was all over the place – especially the bullpen. In their starting rotation, Charlie Morton was the only reliable one. And that is still somewhat true coming into this second half of the season. Drew Smyly has gotten more consistent, as well as Max Fried and Ian Anderson. But Atlanta’s bullpen was, and is, the main problem. Their bullpen couldn’t keep a Braves’ lead in a tight scoring game or keep the run differential close in a situation where the Braves were losing. Another problem that their pitching staff has is that they walk WAY too many batters. It seems almost every time pitchers walk a guy, they come back and score. Walks will always come back to haunt a pitcher. They’ve also had some closer problems: AJ Minter and Will Smith. They come on to pitch in the ninth inning, and it seems like they try to find a way to blow the game. They walk batters, give up home runs, allow hits and runs galore. This season they have given up almost 30 hits, 30 runs, and over 20 walks. They doesn’t pitch every single day, but those aren’t the numbers you want to see from your closers.

The Braves have also been tortured with injuries. The most significant of those would be the most recent: Ronald Acuña Jr. is out of the rest of the season. And, of course, his season-ending injury came against the Miami Marlins. In game two of the most recent series played with Miami (July 10th), Acuña was trying to field a well-hit ball at the warning track in right field. He ran full speed towards the baseball in mid-air and missed. He then fell and put all of his body weight on his right knee, which buckled under all the pressure. He then collapsed, and after being carted off the field, he was examined and he’d torn his right ACL. He had to have immediate surgery, and he will miss the rest of the 2021 season.

Atlanta will now have to finish their 2021 season without their young superstar. Obviously things will be different offensively and defensively, but I don’t think this takes them out of postseason chances. The Braves will just have to work harder and play a better. And if they do make it to the postseason, it will prove just how good this Atlanta Braves team really is.

Another injury- which turned into a shocking blow, came in the month of May. This came from Marcell Ozuna. On May 26th, against the Boston Red Sox, Ozuna fractured two fingers sliding into third base. He was sent to Atlanta for examination and treatment. Three days later, on May 29th an article was released that he had been arrested for domestic family violence. That was certainly a shocking and unexpected blow for the Braves. Not only is he hurt and won’t be able to play this season… but he was arrested, and got out of jail not too long ago. So he is definitely done for this season, if not for the rest of his career.

The Braves also lost Travis d’Arnaud to a torn left thumb ligament. He tore it on May 1st and has been on the injured list since. Hopefully he can come back in mid-August. He is such a good player, and it’s a shame for him to not be able to play.

The final injury that I’m going to discuss is that of Huascar Ynoa. Ynoa had pitched some with the Braves in relief during the 2019 and 2020 seasons, but his career as a starting pitcher really began this season. And boy, was he impressive! In fact, he was probably the best pitcher Atlanta had AND he could hit. In seventeen at-bats, he had six hits, and two home runs – one of witch was a grand slam. A GRAND SLAM!! He was beyond impressive at the plate and on the mound.

However, after a frustrating start on the mound for Huascar, he went into the Braves dugout and punched the bench. Nothing was said of it during the game in mid-May. But after his hand was evaluated, he had broken it. So disappointing. He was such an impressive young player and had (hopefully still has) such a great career ahead of him. He was, is, and will be missed by the Braves. Ynoa’s return date isn’t clear, but it is not expected until after the middle of August.

Although the Braves had many struggles and hard times in the first half of the season, they had shining moments that gave us hope that the Atlanta Braves we know and love are still with us!

Up to his season-ending injury, Ronald Acuña Jr. had an amazing season. He hit twenty-four home runs… TWENTY-FOUR! That is an insane amount. Multiple players across MLB don’t hit that many home runs in an entire 162-game season. He definitely had some sparks coming off his bat almost every time he was at the plate. Acuña was to make his second All-Star Game appearance as a starter this year, but obviously his injury robbed him of that great opportunity. He also led all of MLB players in All-Star votes. Wow!

Ozzie Albies had a great first half to his 2021 season. No, he hasn’t hit as many home runs as Acuña, nor is he the “face of the franchise,” but he is just as good – if not better than Acuña. He leads the Braves in RBI’s with 63, and he leads them in doubles with 27. Not only is Ozzie impressive at the plate, he is extremely impressive on the field. His defensive skills are through the roof! He may be smaller than everyone else… but he can run fast, field well, and make super hard plays look easy. My Ozzie is a consistent, reliable player that the Braves can count on. He was also voted into the All-Star game – and he got to play! It was his second appearance, and he wasn’t a starter, even though he should have been. Albies is such a fun player to watch, and I can’t wait to see what he continues to bring for Atlanta the rest of the season!

Freddie Freeman got off to a very, very slow first few weeks for Atlanta, but he finally started to heat up and look like the MVP Freddie we are used too. Coming into the break (and even now out of the break) his bat was hot. He was hitting extra base hits galore. Before his bat came to life, all he did was walk…or strikeout. Freeman was also awarded the honor of being in the All-Star game. It was his fifth All-Star appearance, and he was a starter.

There are SO MANY good things that have happened already for the Braves this season – even with them having a losing record and their struggles. However, with their two newly added players: outfielder Joc Pederson and catcher Stephen Vogt, I believe that Atlanta will hit a streak where everything starts to click and they will get to a winning record. They really need to put some major pressure on the first place Mets in the NL East.

Braves vs. Pirates Series Wrap

Well, I think it’s safe to say, this series did not go anything like we expected – or how it should have gone. The Braves lost the first two games, and won the third. If they had swept the Pittsburg Pirates they would have had a winning record. Atlanta now has to win two games against the Marlins to have a 44-44 record, or if they sweep the Fish, they will have a winning record going into the All-Star break.

Game One: Max Fried vs. Chase De Jong, Braves lost 11-1

Max Fried did not have is best outing. I mean he did hit a walk-off the day before, but still. He pitched five innings, allowed seven hits, six runs, two walks, and he had five strikeouts. The first four innings he pitched weren’t bad, he just ran into trouble in the fifth and couldn’t get himself out of it.

Fried’s underwhelming outing left the rest of game one in the hands of Atlanta’s shaky bullpen. Josh Tomlin came out of the bullpen for the Braves in the seventh inning and gave up five more runs to give the Pirates a grand total of eleven runs. Tomlin has not had that great of a season so far for Atlanta. Normally he is lights-out and can go multiple innings, but this year he is having trouble completing one inning without giving up a least one run.

The Braves did score one run – they actually scored it in the top of the first inning! Ronald Acuña Jr. lead off the game with a single, and then Freddie Freeman drove him in with a double. The Pirates right fielder, Phillip Evans, couldn’t pick up the baseball and make the throw to attempt to keep Acuña from scoring. I’m not entirely sure if Acuña would have scored if Evans hadn’t made an error – but we’ll never know.

Game Two: Ian Anderson vs. Chad Kuhl, Braves lost 2-1

Ian Anderson did not pitch a bad game at all. He only went five innings, but he had a high pitch count of 91 pitches – so I’m assuming that’s why Snitker took him out. In those five innings he pitched, he gave up five hits, one run, three walks, and had four strikeouts. So, overall, it really wasn’t a bad outing; he just threw a lot of pitches.

The Braves scored their one and only run in the top of the fifth inning on a solo home run by our left fielder, Orlando Arcia. He hit that baseball a long way into the seats in left center field, getting the Braves on the board.

Up till the ninth inning, Atlanta’s pitching was great. Both the starting pitcher and the relief pitchers were able to keep it a tie game at 1-1.

However, it’s baseball. And someone is bound to win one way or another. In the bottom ninth inning, Tyler Maztek was sent onto the mound for the Braves to send them into extra innings. That did NOT happen. Maztek walked the first batter he faced, gave up a single to the next, and another walk to load the bases with Pirates. There was no one out. At this point you knew that Pittsburg was going to win, and sure enough they did. With a four pitch, bases-loaded walk, to Bryan Reynolds the Pirates won the game 2-1. Out of all the ways that the Braves could have allowed the Pirates to walk it off, a bases-loaded walk is the worst. They didn’t even have to work for their win. All they had to do was stand at the plate, with a bat in their hands, and watch the balls go into the dirt.

Game Three: Drew Smyly vs. Wil Crowe, Braves won 14-3

Finally. The Braves won, and they beat out some anger against the Pirates. All throughout this 2021 season, the Braves haven’t clicked on all cylinders. Some days pitching is great and the offense isn’t – or vise versa. In this game, the pitching AND the offense were great for Atlanta, and the result of that was even better: a Braves win! One thing to note before we dive into this Braves win – Ozzie Albies was taken out of this game after popping out in the top of the fifth inning. Nothing is seriously wrong with him, (thank goodness!). Brian Snitker took him out of the game as a precaution because he was dealing with neck tightness. Obviously, knowing the type of player my Ozzie is, he did not want to be taken out of that game. But, in the end, he was taken out to play it safe and not risk him getting seriously hurt and have to miss more than just a game or two. And, of course, Ozzie has to be healthy for his All Star appearance next week!

Drew Smyly didn’t have his best outing for the Braves, but it wasn’t awful; he still got the win. Smyly went five innings, allowed nine hits, three runs, three walks, and he had four strikeouts. The three runs he gave up, which were the only three runs the Pirates scored, came in the bottom of the first inning on a three-run home run by Jacob Stallings. Other than that he, and the Atlanta Braves bullpen for that matter, were lights out.

The Braves scored their first run on an RBI single by Austin Riley. He scored Ozzie Albies who had a hustle double before him. Going into the third inning, the Braves are down 3-1. Ronald Acuña Jr. brought Atlanta one run closer when he belted a solo home run into left center field, making it a 3-2 game.

To start off the sixth inning for Atlanta, Dansby Swanson led off with a walk. He stole second base and then Guillermo Heredia followed him with a walk. The Braves newly acquired catcher, Jonathan Lucroy had a sacrifice bunt to advance Swanson to third and Heredia to second. On the very next pitch of the ballgame, Abraham Almonte, fresh off the bench, hit a two-RBI single, giving the Braves the lead at 4-3. Almonte’s base hit brought Acuña up, with one out. He had a single, which was followed by a groundout by Freeman to make the second out. Then, to load the bases with Braves, Ehire Adrianza walked. Adrianza was in brought in the game to fill in for Ozzie. So, with the bases loaded, Austin Riley was up. He walked, which allowed Swanson to score, extending their lead to 5-3. Orlando Arcia extended the Braves lead again with a two-RBI single, making it 7-3 all Atlanta.

The Atlanta Braves added their final offensive blow on the Pirates in the top of the eighth inning. To lead off the inning, Adrianza had a single. Austin Riley followed him with a lineout. So, with one out, Ender Inciarte was up to bat. He had an RBI double to score Adrianza and make it 8-3. Dansby scored Ender with an RBI double, making it 9-3. Heredia had a groundout to make the second out. Jonathan Lucroy kept the Braves alive with a RBI single which scored Swanson and made it 10-3 Atlanta. To make it 12-3 Braves, Abraham Almonte hit a two-run homer. And then, to score the FINAL two Atlanta runs, Ehire Adrianza had a two-RBI double, that scored Acuña and Freeman who both reached base on singles their previous at-bats. That made it 14-3, all Braves!

Things have still been scattered for the Atlanta Braves this 2021 season. They are going to have to figure things out soon, or they aren’t going to have a very enjoyable rest of the season.

Braves vs. Marlins Series Wrap

For the past few years, almost every time the Atlanta Braves and Miami Marlins face off, there is bound to be some sparks between the two teams. That did not fail in this series, and we’ll get to that in further detail later. Atlanta did, however, take two out of three games in this series.

Game One: Drew Smyly vs. Pablo LĂłpez, Braves won 1-0

Woah. This game started with some MAJOR sparks. To start off the bottom of the first inning, Pablo LĂłpez hit Ronald Acuña Jr. with the FIRST pitch he threw. Acuña was not happy, and Braves manager, Brian Snitker wasn’t happy at all. Immediately after Acuña was plunked with the pitch, the home plate umpire issued warnings. But Snitker wasn’t satisfied with that. He came out on the field saying he’d had enough of the Marlins “shenanigans” with his young stud, Ronald Acuña Jr. The umpires got together and after discussion, threw LĂłpez out of the game. He only threw one pitch. Miami’s manager, Don Mattingly AND their pitching coach (Mel Stottlemyre Jr.) were thrown out of the game defending their pitcher, Pablo LĂłpez. In my opinion, and I think a lot of other people’s, Pablo LĂłpez DID NOT mean to hit Acuña. You could tell by his reaction after his pitch hit Acuña…he grimaced. If a pitcher means to his a player, they don’t have an apologetic reaction. Instead, they stare at the player they hit without feeling any type of regret.

After all that drama, the game went on. Miami had to go to their bullpen, and the Braves had to focus on scoring, and they did just that. Because he was hit with a pitch, Acuña was on first base. Freeman followed Acuña with a single that advanced Ronald to third. That made it to where there were runners on the corners and no one out. My man, Ozzie Albies was up to bat. He hit a sac fly to right field, that allowed Acuña to score and it gave the Braves a 1-0 lead. That was the ONLY run scored in the entire game…wow!

Drew Smyly pitched fantastic for the Braves. He went 5.2 innings, allowed three hits, ZERO runs, two walks and he had seven strikeouts. His impressive outing on the mound was very key in this Braves win. Atlanta’s bullpen followed Smyly’s start, with good relief pitching.

Braves closer, Will Smith tried to blow the game for us in the top of the ninth inning when he had the bases loaded with one out. But somehow he got out of the mess he made, and preserved a Braves win with a final score of 1-0.

Game Two: Kyle Muller vs. Sandy Alcantara, Braves lost 3-2

Kyle Muller did not have a bad outing. He went 5.2 innings, allowed four hits, three runs, four walks, and he had seven strikeouts. Ultimately, with a lack of Braves offense, Marlins pitcher, Sandy Alcantara out-dueled Muller and got the win.

Miami got the lead at 2-0 in the top of the third inning. Coming into the fifth inning, that was still the score of the game. Kyle Muller started the bottom of the fifth inning with a strikeout for Atlanta. Acuña reached base on a fielding error by Miami’s third baseman, John Berti. Freeman followed him with a first pitch single, which advanced Acuña to third. Then my man Ozzie, had a first pitch RBI single that scored Acuña and got the Braves on the board making it a 2-1 game. Ozzie knows how to do his job!

The Marlins came right back to score one more in the top of the sixth inning, extending their lead to 3-1. In the bottom of the seventh inning, Atlanta got one run closer when Freddie Freeman had an RBI single that scored Ehire Adrianza, who reached base on a fielding error. That made the score 3-2. Which was the final score of the game. Overall pitching wasn’t bad for the Braves – it was just a lack of offense that made the biggest difference.

Game Three: Charlie Morton vs. Zach Thompson, Braves won 8-7

What a game! It seemed like the Braves were behind the Marlins almost the entire game. But somehow – someway – they came back and WON!

Charlie Morton had a rougher outing than we are accustomed to seeing from him. He went 5.1 innings, allowed five hits, four runs, two walks, and he had five strikeouts. So overall it wasn’t a horrible start, it just wasn’t what the type of start that Morton has had for the Braves.

Atlanta had the lead in the beginning of the game. In the bottom of the second inning, Ronald Acuña Jr.u hit a two-run bomb to give them the lead at 2-0. After his home run, Miami came back to score four runs; one in the top of the third, and the other three in the top of the sixth. That gave them the lead at 4-2. Atlanta made it a 4-3 game in the bottom of the sixth when Dansby Swanson had an RBI double that scored Freeman.

In the top of the ninth inning, Miami added on to their lead big time. Shane Greene came on to pitch for Atlanta. He gave up a solo home run to Sandy Leon, their catcher, and a two-run homer to Jesus Aguilar, their first baseman. That made it a 7-3 Marlins lead.

Going into the bottom of the ninth inning, things did not look good at all for the Atlanta Braves. However, they changed that! To lead off the bottom of the ninth inning, Austin Riley had a single. Dansby Swanson followed him with a forecourt which got Riley out at second but allowed Swanson to be safe at first. Heredia reached base on a single. So there were two Braves on the bases and one man out. Orlando Arcia had an RBI single that scored Swanson making it a 7-4 game. Pinch-hitter, Pablo Sandoval reached base on a walk, and then he was replaced with a pinch-runner, Ender Inciarte. Abraham Almonte had a two-RBI double that made it a 7-6 game. And then, to tie the game, Ronald Acuña Jr. had a sac fly that scored Inciarte from third base. It was a 7-7 game!

Going into the tenth inning, both teams were looking to end the game right then and there. The Miami Marlins were sent down in order by Braves closer, Will Smith. It was now up to the Braves offense.

Because of the extra inning rule, a runner is automatically placed on second base. Austin Riley was that guy for Atlanta. To start off the bottom of the tenth, Dansby Swanson was intentionally walked. Guillermo Heredia had a fly out to make the first out of the inning. Miami also intentionally walked Orlando Arcia to load the bases with Braves. Marlins pitcher, Anthony Bass, threw a wild pitch. Austin Riley streaked for home plate and he…scored??? The home-plate umpire called Austin Riley safe, but the Miami Marlins challenged the play at the plate, and the call was overturned. Riley was out. On the wild pitch Dansby Swanson advanced to third base.

Miami intentionally walked another Braves batter, their catcher, Kevan Smith to reload the bases. Because Atlanta has a short bench to begin with, they brought Max Fried, who is one of their starting pitchers, to come in and hit. Guess what he did?! After working a 3-1 count, Fried sent a line drive single into center field that scored Swanson and walked the game off for the Atlanta Braves with a final score of 8-7. Yes, that was his first walk-off!

What a great way for the Braves to end off the series with Miami, a walk-off win. After EVERYTHING that these two teams have gone through, at the end of the day, it’s still baseball.