Coming in Hot: Braves Sweep the Mets!

Game 1 of the 3-game series

What a series! If you like high-intensity, every-pitch-counts-baseball, then this was your series. Coming into this series against the Mets, all of Braves country was nervous. I mean, it’s not every day that you have to sweep your biggest Division rivals in order to have a good shot at clinching the division and having possession of a winning record against them in case there were to be a tiebreaker. It was a tall order for the Braves – especially against a good team like the Mets – but our Bravos did not disappoint!

GAME ONE: Max Fried vs. Jacob DeGrom; Braves win 5-2

I was so sure this game was going to be a pitching duel. A low scoring, old fashioned pitchers duel…I was wrong. While both Fried and DeGrom had their shutdown innings and pitched like aces, Atlanta’s offense ended up scoring five runs — three of them off of DeGrom. The Mets scored two runs in total and only one off of Max Fried. Fried pitched very well, but he had to leave after the 5th inning with only 71 pitches because he began to throw up in the dugout and it was later announced that he had the stomach bug. For Max to have pitched the five top-notch innings that he did while being sick is just amazing. Talk about putting your team above yourself.

Offensively for the Braves, they were home run driven. Austin Riley and Matt Olson had back-to-back solo shots in the bottom of the second inning which put the Braves up 2-1. And then, in the bottom of the 6th, Dansby Swanson hit a solo home run to give the Braves a 3-1 lead. All three of those home runs came off of Jacob DeGrom, but Dansby’s was much more meaningful. It was his 100th home run of his career, and it couldn’t have come at a better time.

The bullpen for Atlanta, like we have grown so accustomed to, got the job done. A.J. Minter allowed a nerve-wrecking solo home run to Tomas Nido in the top of the 8th, but that was it. In the top of the 9th inning, Kenley Jansen gave ALL of Braves Country a huge scare. Being there in person was unlike any stress I’ve ever known. The crowd was groaning, cheering, sighing, and cheering again. Kenley loaded the bases with only one out. But somehow, someway, Kenley got out of it without a single run scoring and gave the Braves game one of the series with a 5-2 win.

GAME TWO: Kyle Wright vs. Max Scherzer; Braves win 4-2

Kyle Wright got off to a rocky start but was able to come back and secure the win for Atlanta. When he’s on his A-game, Wright gets a lot of groundouts, and after the first inning, that is what he got. He went 5 innings, allowed 7 hits, 2 runs, one walk, and had three strikeouts. So overall, it wasn’t a bad outing. The bullpen was able to keep the Mets at bay and prevent any further damage for the rest of the game. And, Kenley Jansen pitched a stress-free 1-2-3 inning.

Dansby Swanson and Matt Olson once again brought the power for the Braves. Swanson hit a 2-run homer in the bottom of the 5th inning, and in the bottom of the 6th inning, Olson went yard to give the braves a 4-2 lead.

This game showed what the Atlanta Braves bullpen can do. There were SO many chances for the Mets to score, yet they could not make contact with anything the Braves relievers were throwing. And when they did make contact, Atlanta’s superb defense was there to make the play — hello, Michael Harris II!! This was an overall good game for Atlanta that started out scary and ended with a Braves’ victory.

GAME THREE: Charlie Morton vs. Chris Bassitt; Braves win 5-3

Talk about a great way to end the series. Dansby Swanson led off the game with a bang: an opposite field solo shot in the bottom of the first to give the Braves a 1-0 lead. This was his third home run in as many games. He hit a home run off of all three Mets starters: Jacob DeGrom, Max Scherzer, and Chris Bassitt.

The Mets beat up on Charlie Morton a little bit, scoring three runs off of him in 4.1 innings. But they couldn’t come up with anymore run support.

In the bottom of the third inning, the Braves’ bats came to life once again, except this time it wasn’t via the home run ball. With the bases loaded and two outs, Matt Olson walked to score a run, and then Travis d’Arnaud had a two-run single to give the Braves a 4-3 lead. Then as if Dansby hitting a home run in all three games wasn’t cool enough, Matt Olson decided to do it, too. He hit a towering solo home run in the bottom of the 6th inning to give the Braves a 5-3 lead.

And that 5-3 lead was all the Atlanta bullpen needed. Kenley Jansen came in for the third straight game and was lights out! This awesome showing allowed the Braves to win their 100th game, sweep the Mets, win the head-to-head series with the Mets, and give the Braves a 2.0 game lead in the division. Talk about a productive win. 🙂

The Atlanta Braves magic number to win the division is now one, and they are set to play a three game series against the Marlins in Miami starting tonight to finish out the regular season. I have all confidence in what the Braves are capable of and are excited to see them play in the postseason!


Crucial Series Against the Mets Starts Friday for the Braves:

With a devastating loss to the Washington Nationals in extra innings on Wednesday night, the Atlanta Braves are 1.0 games out of first place. This loss is going to prove to be very significant. If the Braves had won that game, they would be tied for first place with the Mets in the NL East. But since they lost, they are once again behind the Mets and are going to have to fight very hard in this upcoming series.

The Mets have been a tough opponent for Atlanta this year, and this series is going to be no different with two first-place-worthy teams going head to head in the final week of the season. The Braves will be on their home field and the games have been sold out for months It will feel like major postseason games over this weekend.

Unfortunately, the Braves are at a small disadvantage. They have to win more games to have a chance to clinch the Division. This is where that loss against the Nationals is really starting to bite, because if they had won we wouldn’t be 1.0 games out of first. If they Mets were to sweep the Braves, they would clinch, and the Braves would be in the Wild Card. If the Mets won two out of three of the games, their magic number would be at one going into a series against the last place Washington Nationals. Even if the Mets were to win just ONE of the games in this series, they will win the series season and if it were to come down to a tie breaker (which that looks like what is going to happen) then the Mets would be given first place.

If the Braves were to sweep the Mets, the division title would swing back into the Braves’ favor with a 2.0 game first place lead over the Mets. If they were to win 2 out of three of the games, they would have a realistic shot of clinching the division for a fifth straight year. However, it will all depend on how the Braves play against the Miami Marlins after the Mets leave town, and how the Mets play against the Washington Nationals.

The pitching for this series is going to be something else. Atlanta’s best vs the Mets’ best. The starting rotation for this series will look like this unless something were to change:

FRIDAY: Max Fried vs. Jacob DeGrom

SATURDAY: Kyle Wright vs. Max Scherzer

SUNDAY: Charlie Morton vs. Chris Bassitt

This is going to be a very stressful, very exciting series. It’s games like these that make baseball such a great sport. You can play an entire season and have a truckload of wins, but it all comes down to a few, high-intensity games against your rival to determine who will come out on top.

Yes, if the Braves don’t win the division, they will still be guaranteed Postseason berth via the Wild Card. However, you want to win the Division because, not only does it prove your capabilities as a team, but it also gives you a week’s worth of rest since you wouldn’t have to play in a three game Wild Card series to move on in the Postseason. Instead, after the break you would go straight to the NLDS and play the winner of the first NL Wild Card. Also, if the Braves were to win the Division, they would not have to play the Dodgers in the NLDS. The Braves would play the winner of the second NL Wild Card and wait and see if they would end up playing the Dodgers in the NLCS if both teams make it that far.

Overall, there is some big advantages to winning your Division. I’m not quite sure how things are going to play out, but I have faith that the Braves are capable of winning the Division and proving themselves once again in the Postseason. However, if they were to sadly not win the Division for the fifth straight year, I also have faith that they can take care of business in the Postseason. After all, we’ve seen them do it before. 😉


Braves Have Been Playing Great Baseball, but it Has Come With Yet Another Devastating Blow:

Coming off a long road trip to the West Coast, you could tell that the Atlanta Braves were ready to be back home in front of their home crowd. Counting last night’s win against the Nationals, Atlanta has won nine home games in a row.

The Braves played some of their best baseball in this past series against the Philadelphia Phillies. Part of that was due to the LONG awaited return of second baseman and fan-favorite, Ozzie Albies. He had been out for three months with a fractured foot, and he returned to the lineup on Friday, September 16th. He was received very happily by his teammates and the fans at Truist Park gave him a standing ovation. And when he had his two out, two-run double the fans went crazy. It was great to have Ozzie back. He truly makes the team complete. He provides the energy they need to win ballgames.

However, ill fate was awaiting Ozzie. On Saturday, September 17, in just his second game back, Ozzie Albies was advancing to second base on a fly-out by Eddie Rosario. He slid into second base hands first, and after he slid he stayed hunched over the base. Then and there, all of Braves Country felt a pit form in their stomach, and after watching the replay, things didn’t look good. Ozzie stayed in that inning and ran the bases, but once he got into the dugout he immediately went into the clubhouse to get his hand checked out. Ozzie Albies will miss the rest of the regular season with a fractured right pinky finger. This news is devastating. After all that hard work he did recovering from a fractured foot, he fractured his finger less than two days after returning to send him back to the IL. I’m not entirely sure how his finger got fractured. To me, it looked like Phillies second baseman, Jean Segura might have stepped on Ozzie’s finger by accident, or Ozzie slid into his foot. Either way, it’s a heartbreaking situation. But hopefully, Ozzie will remain in the dugout and cheer on his teammates from there, although he would much rather be on the field playing the game he loves.

Atlanta’s offense has hit a spark since they came home. 1-9 each batter was coming through in one situation or another. Even Matt Olson broke out of his hitless streak and recorded two hits last night. And Ronald Acuña Jr. looked like his old self against the Phillies. He hit a home run in back to back games and played superb defense.

Pitching for the Braves has looked much better, too. The starting rotation did well, making the pitches they need to and kept the Phillies scoreless most of the time. Even relief pitching was lights-out. Collin McHugh pitched well – even pitching two innings in the same game. And Kenley Jansen, who we have seen struggle of late, has come in as closer and been lights-out. He hasn’t gotten into any trouble and hasn’t walked anyone. Hopefully he’s figured out what his problem was and made the necessary changes.

The Atlanta braves are a very fun team to watch. They are currently 1.0 game out of first place in the National League East, and are playing fantastic baseball. If they can keep this up, they have a real shot at beating the Mets in the Eastern division. And when the Mets come to town next week, Truist park is going to be rocking. It is going to be some serious competition and hopefully the Braves will come out on top!


What Needs to Happen for the Braves Coming Down the Stretch:

With less than a month of baseball left, the Atlanta Braves are coming down an important stretch. They have been playing very well throughout the season and especially in the month of August, but the past few series’ for the Braves have been tough. Yes, they have been playing “easier” teams, but for some reason, those teams are always harder wins for the Braves. Atlanta is currently 1.5 games out of first place. Just two days ago they were 0.5 games in first place, but they lost two games that they should have won — unfortunately blown by the bullpen and our offense couldn’t come through.

Pitching wise for the Braves has hit an overall rough patch. Lately, the starting rotation hasn’t been as sharp as we have gotten so used to. Even Atlanta’s ace, Max Fried, has been struggling of late. And as for the bullpen, it is mainly the closer role that is drawing concern. Kenley Jansen either has his good games, super stressful games, or bad games. And lately, he’s had more bad games than good. He blew a game on Sunday against the Seattle Mariners that the Braves should have won. It’s just been a frustrating run for him lately, which leaves some concern for the Braves’ closer role with only a certain amount of games left. And it cannot be overstated how very important these games are.

Offensively, the Braves are still hitting their home runs, and driving runners in, but they are leaving so many missed opportunities. Yes, Atlanta’s offense hits a LOT of home runs, but you can’t rely on those to win ballgames. You have to play small-ball. You have to move runners over, take your walks, and score when you need to score. We have seen the Braves leave the bases loaded with one out or two outs too many times this year, and sooner or later that is going to come back and haunt you when you’re in a close division race and need to win ballgames. What I think needs to happen for the Braves is that they just need to make contact with the ball and be patient at the plate. Make the opposing pitchers work. Take balls, work in the count, and get hits. I feel like some of the Braves players are so focused on hitting home runs or getting that “big hit” that they miss opportunities to score a run or reach base so the next guy can get a hit to score some runs.

Hopefully the Atlanta Braves will work out these little hiccups, and soon. The Braves are a good baseball team and we know what they are capable of. It is just a matter of if they can figure out what is causing these hiccups and improve their weaknesses. I believe they can do this! And, as a glimpse of hope, Ozzie Albies should be returning within the next week or so. His bat will provide some spark in the Braves lineup, not to mention his smile and positive impact on our whole team!


A Red-Hot August for the Atlanta Braves:

The month of August has been a very good one for the Braves. They have played all-around very good baseball, and have gained significant ground in the NL East.

At the beginning of August, the Braves lost four out of five against the Mets, bringing them 7.5 games out of first place, which caused some concern. However, the Braves did not let that bring them down, and they had a huge bounce back when they played the Mets at home the following week.

Atlanta pitching has been great this month. Charlie Morton has found his groove, Max Fried is continuing to be his superstar self, Kyle Wright has been very good, and Spencer Strider has been downright impressive. Even Jake Odorizzi has had a bounce back…he won his first game as a Brave Monday night against the Pittsburg Pirates.

The bullpen has been lights-out. How the bullpen is pitching right now, is how I have expected it to be since the beginning of the season. Everyone has been able to come in during high-leverage situations and manage to get out of them, while also maintaining close leads late in the games — which is super important especially as we near the postseason.

Offensively for the Braves, they have been extremely impressive. It seems that every game 1-9 in the lineup is contributing some way. Whether it’s a sac-fly to score a run, a groundout to move the runner over, a home run, or a pinch-hit walk-off single – the Braves hitters are getting it done. It’s very fun to watch them come through in ways you’d never expect and get the big hits we need with runners in scoring position.

Also, defensively, Atlanta has been outstanding. When you hear the word “error” and “Atlanta Braves” in the same sentence, it does not sound right. As a team, the Braves had made 56. I know that sounds like a large number, but compared to the Pittsburg Pirates who have made 85 errors in the same amount of games, it’s really not that high. The Atlanta infield is quite impressive. Even Grissom has proved to be quite a good fielder, although he is not near as good as their normal second baseman, Ozzie Albies. And let me just say…if Dansby Swanson does not win the Gold Glove this year, or finish in the top three of Gold Glove voting, he will have been robbed. His defense has been superb all year long!

The Atlanta braves are just a fun, exciting team to watch! They always put up a fight and don’t give up easily. Coming into today’s game, the Atlanta Braves are 3.0 games out of first place. That is very manageable, as long as the Braves keep winning the majority of games they play, and the Mets lose some, too. 😉

It will be very exciting to see what happens down the stretch come September.


My Thoughts on the Braves vs. Mets Series:

I think it’s safe to say this series was disappointing, somewhat maddening, and even embarrassing. The Mets beat up on us in the four out of five games we lost, and even in the game we won, it got too close for comfort. Not to mention, when we would score, our bullpen couldn’t maintain that smaller run differential, and we would end up losing. These five games had a very tense, postseason-like atmosphere. Coming into this series we were 2.5 games out of first, now we are 6.5 games out of first. That is terrible. Let’s just hope, when we play the Mets next, August 15th-18th (at home) the Braves will do much better than this unfortunate series in New York.


Our starters got pummeled in this series. NONE of them got a win in these 5 games. Out of Kyle Wright, Ian Anderson, Jake Odorizzi, Max Fried, and Spencer Strider, Ian Anderson was the only one who could have qualified for a win, but he couldn’t get through five innings. What was the most frustrating was that our pitchers would make good pitches, then the Mets hitters would make measly contact with them and get rewarded with an infield hit. The New York Mets get the most infield grounders for hits than any other team I have ever seen. Another thing that plagued our starters was the fact that they gave up too many walks. We were basically giving the Mets opportunities to score and they came through almost every single time.


Our bullpen was said to be the best bullpen in the MLB. But in this series, it definitely did not look the part. Even our bullpen’s best, A.J. Minter, Dylan Lee, and Tyler Matzek, struggled against the Mets. The bullpen struggled with inherited runners, they allowed WAY too many of those to score, they struggled with walks, and they failed to get the third out of an inning. Our relievers could come in and get the first two outs just fine, but then they got into trouble while trying to secure the third out. That was very frustrating to watch, and I’m sure it was even more frustrating for the Braves players and staff.


Atlanta gave up too many situations in which they could have scored. They had first and third or second and third or even the bases loaded with one out in different situations, but almost every single time they could not come through and score. In game four, we had no problem scoring. Finally, the Braves hitters looked liked themselves in the batters box. But aside from that single game, we were swinging at pitches in the dirt and taking wimpy swings. Then we would get a burst of energy in the 9th inning, but we were either too far out of the game to make a comeback or we couldn’t get enough run support through.

The Mets are the Braves biggest competitor. We have seven games, all at home, left to play against them. These games are going to make or break us. This time last year our record was 55-55. We are currently at 64-46, so anything is possible. We cannot give up hope yet!

For the Braves, RHP Kirby Yates has been doing rehab games and is expected to return soon. And Ozzie Albies, Atlanta’s sparkplug, has been doing light baseball activity and his return is said to be around late August to mid September. So hopefully, with these two coming back soon for the Atlanta Braves, it will give us the boost we need with 52 games left to play!


Takeaways From Braves vs Mets Series:

The Atlanta Braves and the New York Mets split their four game series. Although this is not the best outcome, it certainly isn’t the worst. Atlanta came into this series six games back and in fourth place. They left the series six games back and in third place. So, although they moved up a place in the standings, they didn’t gain any significant ground on the first place Mets. The Braves showed some improvement, and some struggles in the same areas.


  • When the Braves won, their offense was clicking. All throughout the lineup in games one and four (the games they won), the Braves players were getting on base and scoring. In game four, everyone in Atlanta’s lineup reached base, and they scored seven of their nine runs without hitting a home run. That was huge for this Atlanta offense who can rely so heavily on the home run ball. It was also good to see the Braves score runs with two outs. That is something they have struggled with this season. If they can come up clutch in those moments more often…it is going to get them a lot farther this early in the season.
  • Max Fried and Ian Anderson pitched so well in their starts. In game one, Fried pitched six innings, allowed four hits, two runs, zero walks, and he had six strikeouts. It was very good to see him come off of two good back-to-back starts. Hopefully, he has found his groove and is once again becoming the dominant ace we know him to be. In game four, Anderson pitched 5.1 innings, allowed five hits, one run, four walks, and one strikeout. He also ended the day with 84 pitches, which for Ian, is very good. It was very nice to see these two show some dominance on the mound and come through when they need it.
  • Ronald Acuña Jr. — He is back for the Braves, and looks healthy! He is not playing every day as they are trying to ease him back in…but he has shown that he isn’t afraid to slide into second base, third base, or home plate. He already has two stolen bases! It has been good to see him back in the lineup and on the field.


  • Charlie Morton. I don’t know what his problem is, but Morton has had his fair share of struggles on the mound. To me, he just doesn’t look comfortable. We know the pitches he is capable of making and the numbers he can produce, but right now, he just can seem to get his pitches how he wants them. He is hanging his off-speed pitches, and the opposing batters aren’t missing them. Hopefully, Charlie Morton will get everything under control (and soon) because the Braves need him in their starting rotation! They need dominant Charlie Morton so they can win more than two games in a row!!
  • The Braves have shown what they are capable of…they just can’t seem to keep it up multiple games in a row. It seems like when they win, they win by a lot and everything is clicking. And when they lose, they lose by a lot, and things don’t seem like they are working. It is safe to say they look like two different teams sometimes. Consistency is what I believe they need to work on the most

Hopefully our World Series Champion Atlanta Braves will figure things out within this next home stand and play like we know they can!!


Braves vs. Nationals Sereis Wrap

This was another good series for our Atlanta Braves. They won two out of three games against the Washington Nationals. They should have won all three games and swept the Nats, but a blown save by Will Smith in game two of the series didn’t allow that to happen. Other than Smith’s slip-up, the Braves played great baseball throughout this entire series.

Game One: Kyle Muller vs. Erick Fedde, Braves won 8-4

Kyle Muller didn’t have his strongest outing for Atlanta. He only pitched 4.2 innings, and over that stretch of innings he allowed two hits, three runs, two walks, and he had three strikeouts.

Even though Atlanta didn’t get a strong outing from Muller, they still produced a lot of offense and ultimately won the ballgame.

In bottom of the first inning, the Braves started the scoring. Adam Duvall had a two-RBI single that scored Jorge Soler and Freddie Freeman, who both reached base via a single. That gave them a 2-0 lead early.

The Nationals scored one run in the top of the third inning on a wild pitch to make it a 2-1 game, and then they tied the game at two on an RBI-single by their third baseman Carter Kieboom. And then, to give Washington a 3-2 lead, the pitcher Erick Fedde had a sac fly that scored Gerardo Para from third base.

Atlanta regained the lead in the bottom of the fifth inning. To make the first two outs of the inning, Abraham Almonte grounded out and Ozzie Albies had a lineout. To keep the inning alive, Soler reached base on catcher’s interference. Freeman followed him with a first pitch single. With two on and two out, Austin Riley was up to bat. He hit an RBI-single that scored Soler and made it a 3-3 game. Dansby Swanson broke the 3-3 tie with another RBI single that scored Freddie and made the score 4-3 Atlanta. Adam Duvall added the final knock of the inning with an RBI-double that scored Riley, making it 5-3.

In the bottom of the eighth inning Stephen Vogt led off with a walk. Ehire Adrianza followed him with a single, and then my man, Ozzie Albies, walked to load the bases. Jorge Soler struck out to make out number one. And then Freddie Freeman hit a two-RBI single that extended Atlanta’s lead to 7-3. Austin Riley made it an 8-3 game when he hit a sac fly that scored Ozzie From third.

Washington got one run closer in the top of the ninth inning on an RBI double by Luis Garcia to make it 8-4. But they couldn’t make anymore offense, and the Braves held on to take game one!

Game Two: Charlie Morton vs. Josiah Gray, Braves lost 3-2

It’s games like these that are the most frustrating. Your team has a lead the entire game until the top of the ninth inning. And then your “closer” comes on, and instead of preserving a shutout…he blows the game and your team loses. That is exactly what happened to Atlanta.

Charlie Morton produced another great outing for Atlanta. He went six innings, allowed three hits, ZERO runs, two walks, and he had seven strikeouts. Everything seemed to go right for Morton. He had good command over his pitches, the strike zone, and his pitch count. He did not throw many full-counts to batters.

Jorge Soler started the scoring in the bottom of the first inning. He hit a no-doubt, solo home run to make it a 1-0 game. Soler has some serious power…and he just keeps hitting!

The Braves extended their lead in the bottom of the third inning when Ozzie Albies hit an RBI-single that scored Stephen Vogt, who reached base on a wild-pitch strikeout. Ozzie’s run-scoring single made it a 2-0 game, all Atlanta.

Coming into the top of the ninth inning, the Atlanta Braves were still up 2-0. Will Smith came onto pitch the ninth inning and preserve a two-run shutout. He failed at that. Smith started the inning with a walk to Josh Bell. Then he gave up a first pitch double to Ryan Zimmerman. He got Kieboom to flyout to make the first out of the inning. But then Luis Garcia had an RBI-groundout to make it a 2-1 game. There were now two outs- but that didn’t really matter. On the very next pitch Will Smith threw, Riley Adams hit out of the ballpark for a two-run homer making it 3-2 Washington on top. Not only did that give the Nationals the lead, but it had to be embarrassing for Smith. After all, Adams only had an average of .086.

Atlanta couldn’t come up with any offense in the bottom of the ninth inning to try and come back from a blown save by Will Smith.

Game Three: Max Fried vs. Patrick Corbin, Braves won 5-4

Max Fried pitched well for Atlanta. He went six innings, allowed seven hits, only one run, one walk, and he had five strikeouts. Despite how many hits he allowed, Fried was able to stay calm in those high-stress innings and limit the damage to only one run.

The one run that Max Fried surrendered came in the top of the third inning. Alcides Escobar, the Nats’ shortstop, hit an RBI-single that scored Luis Garcia and made it a 1-0 game.

However, the Braves came right back and took the lead in the bottom of the third. After two quick outs, one by Joc Pederson and the other by Kevan Smith, Max Fried had a single. And then, my man Ozzie Albies hit a two-run bomb making it a 2-1 game, Atlanta on top!

The Braves added onto their lead again in the bottom of the sixth inning. Austin Riley had an RBI-double that scored Dansby Swanson making it 3-1. And then Adam Duvall came up clutch once again with a two-run homer that scored Austin and made it a 5-1 game. Duvey is such a welcomed-back addition to our lineup!

The Nationals made it a 5-3 game in the top of the seventh inning on two RBI-singles. One was by Victor Robles and the other by Ryan Zimmerman. They also scored another run in the top of the ninth inning. It came on an RBI-double by Ryan Zimmerman. That made it a 5-4 game.

Luckily, Atlanta was able to hold onto that 5-4 lead and win the series.

Atlanta is finally starting to get into a winning groove. Our team looks great, and they are finally working together. Yes, it took them a LONG time…but it was SO worth the wait!

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. 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!