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!