After all the World Series celebrations came to a close, the Braves took their first road trip of the season. It was against two very good teams: the San Diego Padres and the Los Angelas Dodgers. Obviously, the most anxiously awaited series was the Braves and Dodgers because Atlanta would see Freddie Freeman for the first time in a different jersey. Watching the games, you could definitely tell there were emotions from both sides, but at the end of the day it’s baseball and things like this happen. Freddie Freeman hit two home runs against the Braves, and we got to feel the impact of having him on another team… he is definitely one tough batter to get out!
Atlanta split the series with the Padres 2-2 and lost the series 2-1 against the Dodgers. The Braves showed some improvement in areas, but they still need to figure out consistent hitting and get the starting rotation completely under control.
- Ian Anderson and Max Fried both showed significant improvement in their second starts. Ian pitched 5.2 innings, only allowed 2 hits, one run, had one walk, seven strikeouts, and he threw 89 pitches. This was an amazing bounce-back from his first outing. He was dominate on the mound and seemed much more comfortable out there.
- Same goes for Max Fried. He looked completely different on the mound compared to his previous starts. He pitched seven SCORELESS innings, allowed only two hits, zero walks, and had seven strikeouts! His command of all his pitches was so much better and he looked more comfortable on the mound and was in control of the baseball, being able make his pitches and get the ball on the ground. It was very nice to see him AND Ian Anderson pitch like we know they are capable of doing!
- Charle Morton. He did SO well in his first start of the season, but he got beat up big time on this road trip. Once by the Padres and by the Dodgers. It looks like he doesn’t have command of his pitches right now, and he’s trying to re-figure them out. Last season we got so used to the ace Charlie Morton, but if you remember… at the start of the last season he didn’t pitch fantastic. So maybe it just takes him some time to fully regain his mound presence and pitches.
- The Atlanta Braves are a very powerful team and we know for a FACT that they can hit…they just can’t seem to get consecutive hits right now!!! Matt Olson is the only Braves player who can seem to get on base multiple at-bats in a row. Ozzie Albies has started to break through, he hit four home runs on the road trip and had multiple base hits, but other than him and Olson, everyone else is hit-or-miss (literally). The Braves can’t seem to get more than two wins in a row either, and now that pitching is starting to come together more…it’s going to be up to the offense to come through.
You might be saying to yourself, “The Braves have hit a lot of home runs this year…so why don’t they have a better record than 6-8?” Well, that’s because 15 out of the 16 home runs the Atlanta hitters have hit have been solo shots. The only home run hit with baserunners was a 2-run shot on opening day by Austin Riley. Other than that, the Braves are having a hard time hitting these home runs with people on base. And trust me, they have had plenty of times to score more runners, but in those moments, we seem to either strike out or hit into a double play.
I’d say the Braves biggest priority is hitting with runners on base. You can’t win ballgames without scoring, and it’s going to take more than a couple solo home runs to win a baseball game. All the teams in and out of the National League East have gotten better this year, and it is going to be a long ride if Atlanta can’t figure their hitting situation out.
Although they still have some things to work out, I’m sure it won’t be too too long until they start being the Atlanta Braves team we are so used to seeing!