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!

GO BRAVES!!

BRAVES ARE NL CHAMPIONS!!

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

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

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

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

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

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

GO 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!