Braves vs. Nationals Series Wrap

Overall it wasn’t a bad series. Both teams each one two games… the Braves had a very good chance of winning game three, but the bullpen blew that. Ozzie Albies had a great series. His bat is hot, and he is providing some big hits for the Atlanta Braves. Also, in game four of this series, Ozzie Albies and Dansby Swanson both reached a career milestone of 500 hits!

Game One: Charlie Morton vs. Joe Ross, Braves won 5-3

The Braves pitching staff did very well in this game. Charlie Morton gave up the only three runs that the Washington Nationals scored, and the bullpen was lights out. Morton went five innings, allowed six hits, three runs, three walks, and had six strikeouts.

The Braves had a very productive first inning. Ronald Acuña Jr. led off with a single, followed by another walk by Freeman, and then Ozzie Albies followed Freeman with a walk. So the Braves had the bases loaded and no one out. Austin Riley lined out to make the first out of the inning, and then Dansby Swanson had a sac fly that allowed Acuña to score from third and give the Braves a 1-0 lead. Then, Abraham Almonte walked to once again reload the bases. Almonte was called up by the Braves to play left field. William Contreras had an RBI single that scored Freeman and Ozzie, making it 3-0 Braves.

The Braves scored again in the bottom of the second when Acuña hit his 16th home run of the season, making it 4-0 Braves. He crushed it into right center field, it was a no-doubter. After the Nationals scored their three runs in the top of the fourth inning, the Braves scored for the last time in the bottom of the sixth inning on an RBI single by Guillermo Heredia that allowed Dansby Swanson to score, making it 5-3 Braves.

Game Two: Max Fried vs. Stephen Strasburg, Braves lost 11-6

Pitching was a problem for both teams throughout this game, but the Nationals bullpen was, in the end, better than the Braves’, which allowed them to ultimately win the game.

This was the first start since his return from the IL that Max Fried didn’t do very well. He only went 3.2 innings, allowed six hits, five runs, two walks, and he surprisingly had seven strikeouts. Over those 3.2 innings, Fried threw a total of 92 pitches- 64 of them were strikes. That proves his ball-to-strike ratio wasn’t bad, Max just didn’t have his best stuff and he never looked comfortable on the mound.

The Braves scored six runs. My man, Ozzie Albies had an RBI double in the bottom of the first that scored Ronald Acuña Jr. and tied the game at 1 a piece. Acuña hit his 17th home run of the season in the bottom of the fifth, which allowed Johan Camargo to score making the game 6-3, Nats on top.

The Braves had three more runs scattered around in this game, but the Nationals offense was more productive against Atlanta’s sketchy bullpen, which allowed them to win 11-6.

Game Three: Drew Smyly vs. Jon Lester, Braves lost 5-3… I was at this game!!

What a game this was for Ozzie Albies! Both offensively and defensively he was so impressive and he carried the team. Yes, the Braves lost, but it was still a good game… just would’ve been even better if the Braves could’ve held on and won.

Drew Smyly went 4.2 innings for the Braves. He gave up seven hits, three runs, two walks and he had six strikeouts. I wouldn’t say Smyly had a bad start, he just had some high-stress innings which drove his pitch count up and that’s what ultimately ended his night on the mound.

The Nationals started the scoring on an RBI single by their third baseman, Starlin Castro. The Braves came right back and tied the game in the bottom of the second on a solo home run by Dansby Swanson. Swanson absolutely crushed this baseball to right center field… it was fun to watch!

In the top of the fifth inning, Juan Soto hit a two-run homer giving the Nationals the lead back at 3-1. That score remained until the seventh inning.

In the bottom of the seventh inning, Abraham Almonte led off with a ground rule double. After Pablo Sandoval and Ronald Acuña Jr. both struck out, Freeman walked and then it was all up to my Ozzie Albies. Before this at-bat, Albies was 1-3 and he’d reached on an error. On the second pitch of the at-bat, Ozzie drove a pitch into the gap in center field for a two-RBI double making the score 3-3.

After Ozzie’s amazing, game-tying double in the bottom of the seventh, A.J. Minter came on to pitch the eighth inning for the Braves. He has struggled in his appearances from the bullpen over the last month, and that continued in this pitching appearance. He got the first two National batters out without any trouble at all, but after those two outs he gave up a solo home run to Washington’s catcher, Yan Gomes making it a 4-3 game late with the Nats on top.

Chris Martin came on to pitch the top of the ninth inning for the Braves. He is normally lights out, but he got into a little bit of trouble. Once again, the Braves bullpen pitcher got the first two batters no problem, but then Martin hit Victor Robles and then Robles stole second base to get into scoring position. Then, Trea Turner had an RBI single that scored Robles and made the score 5-3. The Nationals were able to hang on to that score and win the game.

One thing that I NEED to point out about this game is who provided most of the offense for the Braves. It wasn’t Ronald Acuña Jr, and it was not Freddie Freeman. Yes, Swanson hit a home run… but in the end it was Ozzie Albies. Ozzie was 2-4 and he reached on an error. His seventh inning hit was the biggest hit of the ENTIRE game. Acuña was 0-4 with two strikeouts, and Freeman was 0-3 with one strikeout. Ozzie is so underrated and deserves SO MUCH more credit than he gets. My man (Ozzie) was also very good defensively and made two great plays in the bottom of the eighth inning.

Another great thing about this game is that I was there in person! Cheering for Ozzie is my favorite pastime!

Game Four: Tucker Davidson vs. Patrick Corbin, Braves won 5-1

This was a monumental game for both Dansby Swanson, and Ozzie Albies who both reached 500 career hits in this series finale against the Washington Nationals.

Tucker Davidson came up from Triple-A Gwinnett for his second pitching appearance of the season and pitched very well once again. He allowed only one hit, zero runs, five walks, and five strikeouts over 5.2 innings. Five walks is a lot, but he was able to get out of any trouble that he had created himself.

Neither team scored through the first five innings of this game. The Braves however, got on the board first with a four-run frame in the bottom of the sixth inning. Ozzie Albies started the scoring of that inning with an RBI single that scored Acuña Jr., making it 1-0 Braves on top. Ozzie also advanced to second on a throwing error by the Nationals left fielder Josh Harrison. Austin Riley followed Ozzie with a first pitch double that allowed Ozzie to score making it 2-0 Atlanta. Then, Dansby Swanson was up to bat. After working a full count, Swanson launched a home run into left center field. That home run not only gave the Braves a 4-0 lead, but it was also Dansby’s 500th hit of his career!

The Atlanta Braves scored their fifth and final run on an RBI double by Ozzie in the bottom of the seventh inning making it 5-0 Braves. That double was Ozzie’s 500th career hit! He and Dansby both reached a very big mark in their career… and they did it in the same game!!

The Nationals scored their one and only run in the top of the ninth inning on an RBI single by their catcher, Alex Avila, to make the final score 5-1 Braves!

Braves vs. Diamondbacks Series Wrap

When the Braves play at home, it’s just a different experience, even if you’re watching on the TV. Another thing that makes home games even better is fans. And for this series (and home-stand) the Braves had 50% capacity for fans!

Game One: Huascar Ynoa vs. Luke Weaver, Braves won 5-4

What a great game to open up the series with! More fans at the stadium and a close Braves win. Ynoa pitched great, and he had a good performance at the plate, too. He pitched six scoreless innings, giving up only two hits and two runs, with a total of five strikeouts. He had his first two major league hits in back-to-back at-bats. One was a double in the bottom of the third, and the other a laser-beam single in the bottom of the fourth. He also had an RBI. Overall it was a very good game for Braves pitcher, Huascar Ynoa! It was also a good day for the Braves at the plate. Especially with runners on with two outs. In fact, every run that the Braves offense scored was with two outs. Austin Riley started the Braves scoring off with a bang when he hit a two-run homer in the bottom of the second. The Braves hit another home run in this game, and it turned out to be a key factor in the Braves win. It was a solo shot hit into the upper-decks of the Chop House by none other than my man, Ozzie Albies! It made me very happy to see Ozzie’s bat come to life more in this game with a double and a home run. Hopefully that will continue and he will get hotter and hotter at the plate!

Game Two: Bryse Wilson vs. Zac Gallen, Braves lost 5-0

Doubleheader game one. The Braves normally preform very well in doubleheaders… not this time. In game one, to say the least, Bryse Wilson didn’t have his best stuff today. Then add in his two throwing errors on pickoff attempts at first base, his command was all over the place. He gave up three runs, two home runs, and four hits. He only went four innings. Grant Dayton pitched an inning for the Braves. He also surrendered two runs to the Diamondbacks. The one “good” thing for the Braves in this game was their only hit, and it was by MVP Freddie Freeman.

Game Three: Drew Smyly vs. Madison Bumgarner, Braves lost 7-0

Double header game two. This was Smyly’s first start after coming off the injured list, and he had to go up against Madison Bumgarner. Smyly didn’t have the greatest command of his pitches or control of the strike zone. He allowed five Diamondbacks to score in the top of the first inning, one in the third, and then Josh Tomlin gave up the seventh D-back run in the top of the sixth. Bumgarner threw a no-no against the Braves. He did not give up a Braves hit, he didn’t walk a single Braves player. Oh, and the threw all seven innings. The best part about this game was Ozzie Albies’ great over-the-shoulder, running catch in the top of the second. And that was about it.

Geez, this wasn’t how I wanted or expected this series to end. But hopefully the Braves will preform better and win the series against the Cubs!

Opening Day is Here!

Those four words are some of the sweetest words you’ll ever hear if you’re a baseball fan. The waiting is over, and now it’s time for Braves baseball!!!

The Braves will start off the season on the road in Philadelphia against the Phillies. The Phillies organization, like the Braves, will have fans this season. It will be a long awaited, very much missed part of a baseball game. Hearing the fans in the background, and seeing them celebrating when their team scores and hits a home run is what makes it so fun for everyone. Not to mention, it will also be nice to see real people sitting in the stands rather than cardboard cutouts of their faces.

One of the things I love the most about baseball, besides the game itself, is the sounds. Baseball games create such a wonderful atmosphere. You have the fans making noise in the background, the sound of the ball hitting the glove, and the by far the best sound — when the baseball meets the bat. Ahh it’s just so wonderful to think about!

The Braves will have Max Fried on the mound as their opening day starter. He will face off against Aaron Nola. The Braves would have Soroka pitching, but he is still not one hundred percent. They do however expect him back as early as the end of April. The two innings he pitched on Tuesday against the Red Sox was quite promising as he struck out two batters and only surrendered one run. The Braves will be more than happy to have Soroka back, but until he is back, the Braves will not have to worry because Max Fried is very capable to pitch in the number one spot in the rotation. He did it last season after Soroka tore his Achilles, and Max proved his worth on the mound.

I cannot describe how excited I am that today is Opening Day. The wait is over, fans are back, and it’s time for the Braves to PLAY BALL!!!

The game today is a 3:05 pm eastern time… you don’t want to miss it!

Go Braves!

My 2021 Opening Day Starting Rotation Predictions

Photo by Steshka Willems on

Now that I have done a post on my lineup predictions for Opening Day, I thought I’d do one on my starting rotation predictions. With Mike Soroka’s return not yet known, he most likely won’t be pitching on Opening Day. Note that this rotation order doesn’t include Soroka given he is still on recovery.

Here is my projected Starting Rotation:

  1. Max Fried
  2. Ian Anderson
  3. Charlie Morton
  4. Kyle Wright
  5. Drew Smyly

Obviously, when Mike Soroka does return, he will be the Braves number one starter. Upon his return, one of those guys would have to leave the rotation and would only really be used as a backup pitcher, and most likely in the bullpen. Depending on how Spring Training goes, and his work on the mound during the beginning of the 2021 season, I think Kyle Wright will be the one guy who gets “kicked off” the rotation once Soroka returns. I have nothing against him, I just think, considering his experience level and his troubles in the majors, he will be replaced by Soroka. Or the Braves could do a six man rotation. That way he will still be in the starting rotation, and it would give the other guys an extra day’s rest.

Last season, after Soroka got hurt, it was hard to imagine the Braves being able to have such a strong rotation with him gone. But, Max Fried really stepped up and proved how good he is, and the younger guys did their part, too. Not to mention Ian Anderson who came on the scene and in his fist Major League appearance, got a win against the New York Yankees!

My Braves 2021 Opening Day Lineup Predictions

With less than a month until the start of baseball, and Spring Training already underway, I decided it was time to start thinking about the Opening Day lineup!

The Braves have so many amazing players! I would think it gives Braves Manager, Brian Snitker, a little bit of ease when it comes to creating the lineup on a day-to-day basis. Along with with what order I think the players will hit in, I’m going to list what position I think they’ll play. Let’s get started!

  1. Ronald Acuña Jr. position: Right Field
  2. Ozzie Albies, position: Second Base
  3. Freddie Freeman, position: First Base
  4. Marcell Ozuna, position: Left Field
  5. Travis d’Arnaud, position: Catcher
  6. Austin Riley, position: Third Base
  7. Dansby Swanson, position: Shortstop
  8. Christian Pache, position: Center Field

This is how I believe it will be, but there are a couple of spots that Snitker could swap players. Swanson and Riley could easily be swapped. However, I put Riley before Swanson so there could be a little more power at the bottom of the lineup, so it can have a lot of depth to it. And Albies and Swanson could be changed, but I personally don’t think they will be. Ozzie has proven how capable he is in hitting second. He can easily drive a run in early if Acuña were to reach. Also, I do want to note Christian Pache. He made his debut last year for the Braves and did very well. He also proved his defensive abilities in the 2020 postseason. I don’t think the Braves will start Ender Inciarte this season. I think he will be a bench player. His numbers aren’t what they used to be and he has become injury prone. Yes, he is still good defensively, which is why I think the Braves will give him a spot on the Opening Day roster, just not on the starting lineup.

My Thoughts on the Braves Off-season Acquisitions

With spring training underway and the start of the 2021 season a just little over a month away, I’ve decides to revisit and give my thoughts on the Braves’ moves and signings this past off-season.

At the beginning of the off-season, the Braves association was once again active from the get-go. They signed Drew Smyly to a 1-year, 11 million dollar deal on November 16, 2020. Smyly is a 31-year old left-handed pitcher. He has played seven major league seasons, where all but two were in the American League. With that in mind, considering the DH will not be in the National League in 2021, he will have to get used to hitting. His numbers and stats look pretty good with a 35-35 win and loss record. One thing that sticks out about him is his ability to use his curveball as a weapon. Like Max Fried, he has the talent of a good curveball and fast ball, and they are both left-handed pitchers. I think having them on the same team could be used as an advantage for the Braves.

Their next signing was on November 24, 2020, when the braves inked a deal with veteran right handed pitcher Charlie Morton to a 1-year, 15 million dollar contract. I personally like this move. His numbers through his career are pretty good, with a win and loss record 93-89 over a span of twelve major league seasons. I also feel that he will add a good, strong veteran presence to the mound and in the clubhouse. The Braves starting rotation is full of young guys with Soroka, Fried, Anderson, etc. so having Morton will give the young guys someone to grow and learn from.

Marcell Ozuna. That man was a HUGE part of the Braves 2020 season. But, like the Braves did with Josh Donaldson in 2019, they had only signed him to a 1-year contract. Ozuna showed tremendous power with his hitting abilities in the 2020 season, and he even played some games in left field when he wasn’t the designated-hitter. He almost won the triple-crown with the Braves! But his fellow teammate, Freddie Freeman won the NL MVP, which I might add, he well deserved. Once the Braves 2020 season was over, it was a waiting game to see if the Braves would re-sign Marcell. He was SO amazing for the Braves last year and brought great depth to the line-up hitting behind Freddie Freeman, with Ronald Acuña Jr. hitting in front of him. And then finally, on February 6, of 2021 the Braves announced that Marcell Ozuna was back with a 4-year 65 million dollar contract WITH a fifth year, 15 million dollar option! I was so glad that the Braves re-signed him, and I cannot wait to see what he has in store for us in the 2021 season.

Another “signing” they did was with Jason Kipnis. I could not find an amount of money he got, but that is probably because he is a non-roster player for the Braves who has been invited to spring training. Kipnis is a 33-year-old veteran second baseman, who can play the outfield if necessary. To be honest, I don’t know if I like this signing or not. Yes, the Braves could use him as a back up second baseman if Ozzie (my favorite player) gets hurt. But wouldn’t that be Johan Camargo’s spot on the roster? Isn’t he supposed to be our infield bench player?? I would just assume that is his role for the Braves this season, because they are obviously going to try Austin Riley at third base again. But the Braves are probably giving him a chance this spring training to see if he has enough quality stuff to add extra depth to our bench besides Camargo to play the infield, especially since the Braves no longer have Charlie Culberson. I guess only time will tell what the Braves do with him, but as we all know, no one can replace the Braves’ amazing second baseman, Ozzie Albies!

And finally, the Braves last signing of the offseason was Jake Lamb. Lamb is a 30-year-old third baseman. The Braves signed him to a 1-year 1 million dollar deal. However, his deal is a non-guaranteed Major League contract. Jake is very injury prone, having only played 165 games over the last three seasons. Once again with this signing, if he makes the opening day roster, I believe the Braves signed him to add more depth to the infield part of our bench. He is a left handed batter, but he fields right handed. That could be a very useful weapon for him.

The Braves made some good moves this offseason, but I think the best one was when they re-signed Marcell Ozuna. And not just to another one year deal, but to a four-year-deal, with a fifth year option! I think that was a very smart move, and if the DH were to come to the NL within the next year, that will just be an even bigger bonus for the Braves!!

Spring Training Has Arrived

Baseball in 2021 is officially underway!! Pitchers and catchers reported to the Braves Spring Training facility in North Port Florida yesterday, and their first full squad workout is is February 23. Baseball is coming, and it’s coming fast!

The Braves first spring training game is Sunday, February 28, at 1:05 pm against the Tampa Bay Rays. They will start Spring Training on the road and will play their first game at Cool Today Park against the Minnesota Twins on Tuesday, March 2, at 1:05 pm.


There were a lot of moments where I didn’t think we would have a 2021 season that started on time, or at all. However, MLB and the MLBPA were determined to have baseball in 2021. It will just be a little different than normal. It is still undecided if fans will be able to attend baseball games. The Braves want to have fans and have put tickets on sale. They are selling every seat for full-capacity! Lots of people are hoping for in-person games!!

Some of the safety protocols from 2020 will still apply to baseball in 2021. There will be social distancing in the dugout, seven inning double-headers and more. Personally, I liked the seven inning double-headers. I felt like they didn’t wear out the players as much and were very exciting and fun to watch.

Only time will tell how the 2021 season plays out. The NL East has gotten more interesting during the offseason. It will be a fun and challenging race to the postseason for this division. I cannot wait to see it unfold!