Braves vs. Dodgers Series Wrap

It’s not every day that the Atlanta Braves take two out of three games in a series against the Los Angeles Dodgers, who are the reigning World Series Champions. It’s always great to see the Braves beat such a good team like the Dodgers, but it was also great to see that Atlanta’s offense was able to hit and score off of two very good, well-known pitchers in games two and three of this series. The Braves’ bullpen pitching was SO MUCH better in games two and three… they started to look more like the Braves bullpen we are used too. The Braves lineup was electric in this series! The ENITRE lineup was able to get on base, score runs and keep that flowing. Overall it was a great series for the Braves in so many ways… maybe facing a “harder” team like the Dodgers was just what the doctor ordered for them!

Game One: Ian Anderson vs. Julio Urías, Braves lost 9-5

The main problem for the Braves in this games was walks. Walks will always, ALWAYS come back to haunt a pitcher. The Braves pitching staff gave up a total of eight walks in this game. Two of them were with the bases loaded, so runners scored.

Freddie Freeman started the game off with a BANG for the Braves! He had been in a major slump, walking more than he was hitting, and taking last minute swing on balls in the dirt at the plate. He hit a solo home run to center field in the bottom of the first inning to give the Braves a 1-0 lead.

Overall Ian Anderson did not have a bad start for the Braves, he just got into some fifth inning trouble which allowed LA to score and got Anderson out of the game. He pitched 4.1 innings, gave up one hit, four runs, and three walks. Ian also struck out six Dodger batters.

Following Ian Anderson, Sean Newcomb came on to pitch. He did not do well. He only retired one LA batter and gave up three runs. He didn’t give up any hits, because all of the runs he allowed came via walks. Grant Dayton came on and got the final out of the fifth inning for the Braves, but it didn’t do too much good because the Dodgers had already scored EIGHT runs on only three hits to make the score 8-1.

Like the Braves broadcaster Chip Carey says about the Braves , “They may not always win, but they always give you a finish.” That statement was very true for this game.

In the bottom of the eighth inning, Ender Inciarte led off with a single, which was followed by a four pitch walk to Ronald Acuña Jr. Freddie Freeman made the first out of the inning on a forceout which advanced Ender to third, but got Acuña out at second and left Freddie on first. Then, on the first pitch he saw, my man Ozzie Albies split the gap in center field for an two-RBI double and made the score 8-3. Ozzie has had so many of these doubles in the past couple of series for the Braves… he’s just that good! 😉 Austin Riley followed Ozzie’s double with a single and then after Pablo Sandoval struck out, Ehire Adrianza reached on a two base error that allowed both Ozzie and Riley to score, making it 8-5 Dodgers still on top.

The Dodgers scored one more run in the top of the ninth inning on a wild pitch by Tyler Matzek to make the final score of the game 9-5 Dodgers.

Game Two: Charlie Morton vs. Clayton Kershaw, Braves won 6-4

For Charlie Morton, this start started off sketchy. In the top of the first inning, after he hit Mookie Betts, Justin Turner reached base on an error by Austin Riley. Cody Bellinger advanced Betts on a force-out and then he scored on a pick-off error by Charlie Morton when he attempted to catch Bellinger too far off of first base. After that first inning he gave up three more runs, allowed one walk, four hits and had five strikeouts over a total of five innings. This wasn’t his best start, but did better than I expected he would after how his outing started.

The Braves took full advantage of Kershaw and it paid off. In the bottom of the third inning, Guillermo Heredia started the inning with a single. He was followed with two quick outs: one by the Braves catcher Kevin Smith, and the other by Charlie Morton. Acuña kept the inning alive with a rare walk from Clayton Kershaw. Freddie Freeman tied the game with an RBI single that scored Heredia, making it a 1-1 game. My man, Ozzie Albies extended the Braves lead with a two-RBI double giving the Braves the lead at 3-1. Dansby Swanson hit the final blow of that inning with another two-RBI double off Kershaw to make it 5-1 Braves!

The Dodgers made a game of it when they scored three right back in the top of the fourth making it a 5-4 game. That score was too close for comfort, and the Braves knew that. Abraham Almonte gave Atlanta a little more breathing room when he hit his first home run as a Brave in the bottom of the seventh inning. It was a solo shot, but when you’re in a close game against a good team like the Dodgers, every run you can get is huge. That homer gave the Braves a lead of 6-4.

The Braves’ bullpen was able to continue to hold the lead and carry them to a win to tie the series a one game a piece.

Game Three: Max Fried vs. Trevor Bauer, Braves won 4-2

It’s not every day a team scores a bunch of runs off of a well-known pitcher like Kershaw, but it’s even better when your team can go and beat two good pitchers in back to back games to win the series.

Max Fried pitched quite well for the Braves. He went six innings, gave up six hits but only allowed one run, had ZERO walks and four strikeouts. Fried had good control over the baseball and his balls-to-strikes ratio was great. He did work a few deep counts but nothing like he normally does.

The Braves started off the scoring in the bottom of the second on an RBI double by Abraham Almonte that scored Dansby Swanson and gave them a 1-0 lead. They extended their lead in the bottom of the third inning on an RBI double by Ozzie Albies that scored Freddie Freeman, making it 2-0.

The Dodgers scored one in the top of the fourth, which was the only run Fried gave them to make it 2-1 Braves still on top.

Once again, the Braves extended their lead in the bottom of the sixth on a single by Ender Inciarte and they scored again in the bottom of the eighth inning on a sac fly by Inciarte to make it 4-1 Braves.

The Dodgers got one run closer in the top of the ninth inning, but it wasn’t enough and the Braves held on to the win and won the series against their National League rivals, the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Sorry for the late re-cap. I was out of town without cell service for the past 6 days.

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. Mets Series Wrap

Well, this wasn’t much of a series. With games one a three both postponed due to weather conditions, it turned into a one game series. The New York Mets and the Atlanta Braves will have two makeup games in different doubleheaders. One will be on June 21st and the other on July 26th.

Game Two: Ian Anderson vs. Taijuan Walker, Braves lost 13-2

For only one game to be played in this series, this is definitely not how anyone in Braves country wanted to go.

Ian Anderson did not have his best stuff. His balls-to-strikes ratio was good, the Mets were just able to hit his pitches. He didn’t always hit his spots, which left his pitches out over the plate. Anderson pitched only four complete innings. He started the fifth inning, but could not retire a batter. He allowed seven hits and four runs. He did have six strikeouts and only one walk, which proves that his pitch ratio was good. In the end, the Mets offense just took advantage of him.

The Braves offense was very quiet. Unlike the Mets against Ian Anderson, the Braves could not hit off of Walker let alone much against their bullpen. The Braves scored one run in the top of the sixth inning on a wild pitch which scored Guillermo Heredia. The other was scored in the top of the eighth inning on an RBI single by my man Ozzie Albies! Those two runs were the only runs scored by the Atlanta Braves in this game.

Ian Anderson may have had a frustrating start, but the final blow was ultimately surrendered by the Braves bullpen. Atlanta’s bullpen gave up a combined total of six hits, two walks, and five runs. Three of those hits were home runs. Honestly, the Braves bullpen is hit or miss. Some nights they come out and pitch very well like we’re used too. Other nights they do not have good stuff at all, and give up too many runs. They need to find balance and to be able to come out of the bullpen, in a close game, and not allow any traffic on the bases, runs, or high stress pitches. If they can do that, they will have much more success out of the bullpen!

Braves vs. Red Sox Series Wrap

Injuries have shown to be quite a problem for the Braves. They are now without Marcell Ozuna, who fractured two fingers on his left hand while sliding into third base in game one of this series. The Braves say it will take around six weeks for him to be able to come back and play. Ozuna may not have the strongest arm in the outfield, but he has big-time power at the plate that has been a huge bonus for the Braves in the lineup with him hitting behind Freddie Freeman. Braves’ manager, Brain Snitker, will now have to adjust his lineup in order to fill Ozuna’s gap while he is unable to play.

Game One: Charlie Morton vs. Garrett Richards, Braves won 3-1

Charlie Morton pitched extremely well for the Braves. He got off to a shaky start in the first inning, but was able to calm down, and pitch a gem for the rest of the game. Morton went seven innings, he allowed only three hits, one run, two walks, and he had nine strikeouts… nine! Charlie started off slow with Atlanta, but he seems to have gotten into his groove and has been giving the Braves good quality starts.

The Red Sox kept their 1-0 lead until the top of the third inning. William Contreras started off the inning with a walk, which was followed by a lineout of Acuña. Freddie Freeman came on with one out and had a first pitch single. Marcell Ozuna followed Freeman with an RBI single to tie the game at 1 apiece. Ozzie Albies followed Ozuna’s single with a fielders choice that scored Freeman giving the Braves the lead at 2-1. Marcell Ozuna was tagged out at third base to make the second out of the inning and that slide also led to his injury that I mentioned earlier. It’s going to be a huge difference not having him in the Braves lineup… especially since Ozuna was starting to look like the Marcell Ozuna the Braves had in the 2020 season.

The Braves scored their third and final run on an RBI double by Ronald Acuña Jr in the top of the sixth inning. Pablo Sandoval was the baserunner who scored for the Braves; he had reached base on a single. That run made it 3-1 Braves. It was good to see the Braves score without hitting a home run. The Braves lead ALL of Major League baseball in home runs. They have hit a grand total of 80… so far!

Game Two: Drew Smyly vs. Nick Pivetta, Braves lost 9-5

Rain delay games are never fun. I’m sure for players it’s hard to keep their momentum after having to be contained inside for a long period of time.

Drew Smyly started off pitching well for the Braves, giving up only three runs through the first five innings he had pitched. But he fell apart in the sixth inning. He lost his command and had baserunners everywhere. Then Luke Jackson was brought on in relief and he had a mess to get out of and eventually couldn’t.

The Braves started the scoring with a RBI triple by my man, Ozzie Albies, which gave the Braves a 1-0 lead, and then Dansby Swanson scored him on an RBI double to make it 2-0 after the top of the first. The Braves scored again in the top of the second on a sac fly by William Contreras to make it 3-o Braves. And then, in the top of the fifth inning, Austin Riley hit a solo home run making it 4-3 Braves on top.

After the Red Sox blew it open in the bottom the sixth inning and the rain delay, it was a 7-4 game, Sox on top. The Red Sox added onto their lead again in the bottom of the eighth inning on an error by Swanson that allowed a runner to score, and a sac fly that allowed another Red Sox runner to score, extending their lead to 9-4.

The Braves got one run closer on a solo home run by William Contreras in the top of the ninth to make it 9-5, but it ultimately wasn’t enough and the Red Sox held on for the win and a split series.

The Braves need some help… and they need it as soon as possible! Their starting pitching has improved quite a bit, but the bullpen still has some problems to be fixed. Hopefully when Shane Greene is ready to come up from Triple-A Gwinnett, that will add more stability in the bullpen. However, injuries are killing us. Injuries will happen, but the Braves have been hit with a ton of injuries that hurt a lot and have a long recovery time. Surely they will figure out something soon and get into a good groove!

Braves vs. Pirates Series Wrap

What a series! The Braves may not have swept the Pirates, but they definitely broke out offensively and were able to score multiple runs an inning, all through the lineup. Starting pitching also continued to go well for the Braves, and in the last three games of the series, the bullpen was much better than we’ve seen.

Game One: Drew Smyly vs. Wil Crowe, Braves lost 6-4

Drew Smyly’s start for the Braves started out looking like it was going to be a rough one, but he turned that around and pitched a good quality six innings for the Braves. He allowed six hits, three runs, only one walk, and he had seven strikeouts. Although the three runs he gave up were all via home run, it was nice to see Smyly be able to hold the score for the Pirates at 3 and give his team a chance to come back.

The Braves tried hard for the comeback! In the bottom of the second inning, William Contreras hit a three run homer to left field, giving the Braves the lead at 3-2. Then, in the bottom of the sixth inning, (after the Pitsburg Pirates scored their third run) Dansby Swanson hit a two run bomb to left field, making it 4-3 Braves.

Sean Newcomb started the seventh inning for the Braves. He got two outs in his appearance, but he also surrendered the lead and made it a tied ballgame. The game remained tied and went into extra innings.

Jacob Webb came on to pitch the top of the tenth inning. This was his first appearance on the mound for the Atlanta Braves since he hit Mets’ player Kevin Pillar in the face on May 17. You could tell that Webb was still uncomfortable on the mound, and he did not pitch inside to the Pirates players at all. He left everything over the plate and the Pirates didn’t miss a pitch. Webb gave up a lead off single and then an RBI single to Kevin Newman to make it 5-4 Pirates on top. He then got a forceout that advanced Newman to third, and then Grant Dayton came on in relief of Webb. He gave up a sac fly to make it 6-4 Pirates.

The Braves had no luck in the bottom of the ninth inning to make a comeback.

Game Two: Ian Anderson vs. Tyler Anderson, Braves won 20-1

Hehe. This was certainly a super fun game to watch. I mean, it’s not every day the Braves score 20 runs in a game, right?! The Braves scored early in this game, and didn’t stop scoring until it was over.

Ian Anderson did a fantastic job pitching for the Braves in this game. He went six innings, allowed six hits, gave up zero runs, and ZERO walks. Not to mention he also had six strikeouts. It was nice to see Anderson be able to have command over his ball-to-strike ratio and not give up any walks. That is a huge component to have from your starting pitcher. Free baserunners pretty much always come around and score, and those hurt your team the worst. But Anderson didn’t not pitch himself into any trouble and had a great outing.

In the bottom of the first inning, Ozzie Albies had an RBI double, his thirteenth of the season, which scored Ronald Acuña Jr. and gave the Braves a 1-0 lead. After my man Ozzie got the scoring started, the Braves they were on fire offensively!

In the bottom of the second inning, Dansby Swanson led off with a double, followed by a walk to Kevan Smith, who was making his Atlanta Braves’ debut as catcher. That walk was followed by a single to Guillermo Heredia to load the bases. After Ian Anderson struck out, Ronald Acuña Jr was in the batter’s box for the Braves. After working a full count, Acuña got a pitch off the plate and drove it into the seats of the Chop House for a grand slam. The Braves extended their lead to 5-0. Acuña once again added onto the scoring in the bottom of the fourth inning with a sac fly that scored Guillermo Heredia making it 6-0, all Braves.

In the bottom of the fifth inning, Ozuna led off with a four pitch walk. Ozzie Albies was up to bat, and after working a 2-1 count, Ozzie hit a home run to left center field making it 8-0 Braves. Yay! After Ozzie had gotten his Panda hug in the dugout, Austin Riley sent a bomb out of the ballpark for a solo home run making it 9-0. That was just the second time the Atlanta Braves had gone back-to-back with home runs all season.

In the bottom of the sixth inning, the Braves hit yet another home run. This one was by Marcell Ozuna. He hit it to left field and extended the lead to 10-0, all Braves. The very next inning, the Braves once again added on. Austin Riley hit another home run and then following his homer, Dansby Swanson hit one out of the park. That made it 12-0 Braves and the third time the Braves had hit back-to-back homers this season… the second of that night!

As if the Braves hadn’t scored enough… they added on big time to their already huge lead in the bottom of the eighth. Freddie Freeman led the inning off with a walk. Ozuna followed his walk with a double, and then Ozzie had a walk. The bases were loaded with no one out. Riley had a sac fly to score Freeman and make it 13-0. Swanson came up to bat and he had a walk. Then the Braves catcher Kevan Smith, had an RBI single that score Ozuna, making it 14-0. The Braves still had the bases loaded. Heredia was up to bat next and he had another RBI single making it 15-0 Braves. The Braves played their other baserunner station to station, so they still had the bases loaded with one out.

Ehire Adrianza came on to pinch-hit for Josh Tomlin, who pitched two scoreless innings for the Braves in relief of Anderson. On the FIRST PITCH he saw Adrianza hit a GRAND SLAM into the Chop House making it 19-0 Braves. Following the grand slam, Acuña struck out then Freeman had a double and Ozuna scored him with another double making it 20-0 Braves. Wow!

It would’ve been amazing for the Braves to have shut out the Pirates 20-0. Jacob Webb pitched the ninth inning for the Braves. He was still looking for a bounce-back start after hitting Kevin Pillar of the Mets in the face on May 17. He got the first guy out with no problem, but then Webb allowed a walk to Erik Gonzalez. It was the only walk a Braves pitcher gave to the Pirates in the entire game. It would’ve been so great to see the Braves pitching staff go an entire game without giving up a walk, but that wasn’t meant to be. After the walk, Webb gave up a single to Ben Gamel. Gonzalez advanced to third base on a throwing error by Webb. He then got a strikeout of Cole Tucker, and then gave up a RBI single to Will Craig making the score 20-1. Webb got the final out of the inning without giving up anymore runs. The one run that the Pirates score was the walk that Jacob Webb gave up… walks always come back to haunt a pitcher.

Following that bullpen appearance, Jacob Webb was sent down to Triple-A Gwinnett. I think that was a smart move for the Braves to make, and I personally thing that the Atlanta Braves coaching staff should have made that move a long time ago.

Game Three: Bryse Wilson vs. Mitch Keller, Braves won 6-1

Most of the time after a team has a blow out game, they don’t always score a lot of runs or win the next game. The Braves however took the momentum of the night before and carried it into this game.

Bryse Wilson pitched very well for the Braves. He went 6.2 innings allowing only five hits, one run, two walks, and he struck out four Pittsburgh batters. Wilson never really struggled in this outing. He had a few baserunners scattered here and there and gave up a solo home run to Michael Perez in the top of the third, but that was it.

The Braves started the scoring early. In the Bottom of the first inning, Ronald Acuña Jr. led the game off with a first pitch solo home run giving the Braves a 1-0 lead. It’s impressive to see Acuña be able to hit a homer on the first pitch, especially with how far he can hit them! The Braves added onto their lead in the bottom of the first on an RBI single by Austin Riley that scored Freddie Freeman and made it 2-0 Braves. In the bottom of the third inning, Freeman had an RBI single that scored Ender Inciarte, making it 3-0 Braves still on top.

Braves were up 3-1 in the bottom of the fifth inning. Freeman led off the inning with a four-pitch walk. Marcell Ozuna followed him with a flyout, and that brought Ozzie Albies up to the plate. (He was hitting from the left side.) On the first pitch he saw, he hit a BOMB into the seats in right center field for a two-run homer making it 5-1 Braves. And then, as if one home run wasn’t enough, Ozzie hit a solo home run in the bottom of the seventh inning from the right side of the plate, making it 6-1 Braves.

Ozzie may be little, but he has gigantic power! He really showed that with those two home runs. He definitely powered the Braves, along with good pitching, into another Braves win against the Pirates.

Game Four: Max Fried vs. JT Brubaker, Braves won 7-1

Max Fried got off to a shaky start for the Braves but settled down and pitched a great game. He went seven innings allowing only four hits, one run, three walks, and had two strikeouts.

The one run that Fried gave up was on an RBI double by Bryan Reynolds. That gave them a 1-0 lead, but Max was able to stop the Pirates there and give his Braves a chance to score.

The Atlanta Braves offense did just that. Acuña grounded out, and Freeman struck out to start off the inning. The Braves now had two outs, Ozuna had a single to keep the Braves alive in the inning. Ozzie followed Ozuna with an in-field single. Austin Riley came up to bat and he turned the game around for Atlanta with a three run home run. Whew! This kid’s got some home run power.

Austin Riley added onto the Braves lead in the bottom of the third with another home run! This one was a two-run shot, making it 5-1 Braves. The Braves scored one more time in the bottom of the sixth inning on a two-run home run by Dansby Swanson, making it 7-1 Braves. That was the final score of the game.

One fun fact about all three home runs in game four of the series was that Ozzie was on base for all of them! He had a single in the first, was hit by a pitch in the third, and had another single in the bottom of the sixth. Albies really started to come to life in this series, and I’m sure it has made him and the coaching staff happy. It’s made me happy for sure!

Braves vs. Mets Series Wrap

Whew. Series like this can be tough to watch. At least the Braves avoided a sweep. The Braves need serious bullpen help… and they need it now. Until the Braves can provide some much needed pitching consistency, it is going to be very tough for them to win games. If your bullpen cannot preserve a late inning lead- especially a close lead- your team is going to have a much harder time coming back to tie the game let alone come back and win it.

Game One: Max Fried vs. Taijuan Walker, Braves lost 3-1

Fried pitched very well for the Braves. He went six innings allowing five hits, one run, only gave up two walks, and he had eight strikeouts. Fried starting the top of the seventh inning but had to leave the game with a left hand (his pitching hand) cramp. The one positive thing about Fried’s exit was that he wasn’t seriously hurt. He was mainly taken out because it was giving him discomfort and the Braves could not afford another serious injury to a pitcher… especially a starting pitcher.

The Mets started the scoring after Fried was taken out. Before his exit he gave up a leadoff double to Tomas Nido and then Jacob Webb came on in relief of Max Fried. Webb has had some sketchy outings for the Braves. However, I will give him some credit, in the midst of those sketchy outings, he has had some decent outings. This one was not one of those rare outings. He gave up an RBI double to the first batter he saw (James McCann) which scored Nido and gave the Mets a 1-0 lead. After a sac bunt by Johneshwy Fargas, Webb gave up a walk to Fransisco Lindor. Lindor stole second base as well. In the following AB, Webb struck out Pete Alonso, and then Dominic Smith was intentionally walked. That loaded the bases with Mets runners. There are now two out, and the bases are loaded. And what does Jacob Webb do? He hits Kevin Pillar smack in the face with the pitch. Obviously it was not intentional in the slightest. Pillar was able to walk off the field but he was bloody and definitely in pain. Webb was seriously shaken up, so Brian Snitker did the right thing and took him out of the game. Following Jacob Webb, Sean Newcomb came on to pitch and he got the final out of the inning, leaving the bases loaded with Mets, and the score at 2-0 Mets on top.

Sean Newcomb stayed in the game and pitched the top of the eighth inning for the Braves. He got Jose Peraza out to start the inning, gave up a single to Tomas Nido, got another out from Jake Hager on a wild pitch which allowed Nido to advance to second, and then Newcomb gave up a double to Johneshwy Fargas that made it 3-0 Mets. Following that, he gave up a walk to Lindor and then got the final out of the inning on a pop out by Pete Alonso.

In the bottom of the eighth inning Austin Riley put the Braves on the board with a colossal home run to right center field. That made the game 3-1, Mets still on top.

That was the final score of the game because the Braves offense could not produce in the bottom of the ninth inning. Once again, the Braves bullpen did not keep the shut out and could not limit the run damage to one run.

Game Two: Tucker Davidson vs. Miguel Castro, Braves lost 4-3

Tucker Davidson made his 2021 debut for the Braves. He pitched considerably well given how good the Mets are this season. He went six innings, allowed five hits, gave up three runs, one walk, and had five strikeouts. The Braves have had injuries to the starting rotation, so it was nice to see that a young guy like Davidson could come up from Triple-A Gwinnett and give the Braves a quality outing. The only two blemishes on his performance was a two run homer by Jonathan Villar, and a sac fly in the top of the sixth by Pete Alonso. Other than that he was very good on the mound.

The Braves scored their first run of the night in the bottom of the fifth inning on a solo home run to right center field by Austin Riley. Right now, Riley has been the hottest hitter for the Braves. He is hitting the baseball to all fields, getting on base constantly, and providing some needed offense for the Braves. They scored their second run in the bottom of the sixth inning on a solo home run by Freddie Freeman, making the score 3-2. The Braves were getting closer. And then, in the bottom of the eighth inning, Marcell Ozuna tied the game at 3-3 with an RBI single that scored Ehire Adrianza.

Okay, top of the ninth inning… tied ballgame. Will Smith comes on to pitch for the Braves. He gets the first two batters out with no problem. Then he gives up a solo home run to Tomas Nido, making it a 4-3 game with the Mets on top. Once again, in a tied game, the Braves bullpen could not maintain the tie.

In the bottom of the ninth inning the Braves could not come up with any late inning offense, therefore the Mets took game two with a final score of 4-3.

Game Three: Charlie Morton vs. David Peterson, Braves won 5-4

This game was intense in the late innings. Both teams scored runs late, and ultimately the Braves came out on top.

Charlie Morton pitched quite well for the Braves. He went six innings, only allowed two hits, and one run. Oh, and he also had NO walks and eight strikeouts. The one run he allowed came on a solo home run by Jonathan Villar in the top of the fourth inning.

In the bottom of the fifth inning, the Braves looked a little bit more like the offensive team we are used to seeing. After Ozzie Albies grounded out to start the inning, Austin Riley had a double to center field. Dansby Swanson also had a groundout to make the second out of the inning, and then following him, William Contreras was hit by a pitch. Guillermo Heredia had a first pitch single that scored Riley and advanced Contreras to second. Then Charlie Morton got in on the fun and had a first-pitch-single also. He hit it to center field and it scored Contreras. Morton smoked that ball, and it paid off! His single made it a 2-1 Braves lead. Ronald Acuña Jr. walked on a wild pitch, and taking advantage of the wild pitch, Heredia scored making it 3-1 Braves on top.

In the bottom of the sixth inning, the Braves had the bases loaded with two outs. It was Charlie Morton’s at-bat. Brian Snitker knew how well Morton was pitching, but ultimately made the decision to take Charlie Morton out and go for an offensive approach by brining Pablo Sandoval on to try and bring in more Atlanta runs. Sandoval had a line out, which did not allow the Braves to score any more runs.

I get why Snitker took Charlie Morton out and replaced him with Sandoval, I really do. He knew how well Morton was pitching, but with a close score and the Braves’ bullpen being as unstable as it is, he was looking for more run support. However, that did not happen. But, you can’t put a player back in after you’d already taken him out, so it was what it was.

Coming into the top of the seventh inning, the Braves still had the lead at 3-1. A.J. Minter was up to pitch for the Braves. He started the inning with a quick two outs, but then he got into some trouble. Minter had a two-base throwing error to get Dominic Smith on base. He then gave up a four pitch walk to James McCann, and then Jose Peraza had a RBI double that scored Smith and made it a 3-2 game. That run was unearned because of the error by Minter. As if the Mets hadn’t beaten up on the Braves enough, Tomas Nido had a two RBI single which gave the Mets the lead again at 4-3. It’s so frustrating to see the Braves’ starting pitcher do so well, the offense provide a lead, and then for the bullpen to go and blow it.

Although the bullpen blew a lead again, the Braves did tie the game in the bottom of the eighth. William Contreras had a RBI single that scored Austin Riley and made it a 4-4 game.

Bottom of the ninth inning. Tied ballgame. Aaron Loup was put back in the game to pitch the ninth inning for the Mets (he pitched the eighth inning for the Mets, too).

Ronald Acuña Jr. led off the bottom of the ninth inning for the Braves. On the FIRST PITCH he saw, Acuña hit his first career walk-off home run sending the Braves home with a 5-4 win!

It was so good to see the Braves be able to, first of all, avoid a sweep, but also be able to come back from behind in the late innings, and win the game. Hopefully they can keep that trend up, and the bullpen will figure itself out, soon!