After an annoying loss Friday, the Braves looked to get back to winning behind Kyle Wright on Saturday.
After a scoreless top of the first, Kyle Wright got into some trouble as a result of bad BABIP luck in the bottom of the first, as the Cubs scored two runs on three singles all with less than .500 xBA. The Braves started the second of in a promising manner, with a Contreras line drive single. After Matt Olson flew out, Adam Duvall had a towering pop fly drop to the ground with the Cubs playing a shift and somehow it was called a double play because they got Contreras on a forceout at second and Duvall began to walk back to the dugout for…reasons and Eric Young touched him while indicating to return to first base.
This was an inning-ending double play. pic.twitter.com/kwBcLVslRr
— Justin Toscano (@JustinCToscano) June 18, 2022
Kyle Wright and the Braves suffered from another BABIP house of horrors combined with some unfriendly umpiring in the bottom of the inning that allowed another run to score, and at this point, this series was feeling a whole lot like the pre-streak Braves games.
Ronald and Dansby blistered two singles in the third, but again the Braves were unable to score. On to the bottom of the frame and Kyle allowed a leadoff single before recording two outs. Jason Heyward blooped a ball into left field that squibbed to the side on the bounce, fooling Duvall and turning a bloop single into an RBI double. The Braves got a small break in the fourth, as Contreras reached on an error, but it was immediately erased as Matt Olson grounded into a double play and smashed his helmet down in frustration. The Cubs’ Contreras brother sparked a Chicago threat in the bottom of the frame with a one out softly hit ground ball double with a .170 xBA because of course. Kyle mercifully escaped the inning with no runs allowed.
Duvall put the Braves on the board in the fifth, with a leadoff opposite field home run. Michael Harris poked a single through the infield with one out and the Braves potentially were waking up. Acuna drew a walk to set up men on first and second with one out ahead of Dansby. Dansby drew a walk of his own and there was real danger now from Atlanta, with the bases loaded and one out for Austin Riley. Austin worked a full count before delivering a sac fly to score Harris. Ozuna flew out to end the inning, but the Braves were back in the game with a deficit of only two. Wright pitched a filthy 1-2-3 fifth in which he would have had three strikeouts with better umpiring, but settled for two strikeouts and a groundout.
Wright came back out for the sixth and immediately returned to the BABIP house of horrors as he gave up a leadoff swinging bunt single and a soft ground ball single to the first two batters. He got a ground ball double play after that, although a run did score. He got the final out of the inning with no further baserunners. Kyle pitched a very good game today, but was the victim of just absolutely horrid BABIP luck that tagged five “earned runs” onto his statline, despite a 0.84 FIP and a 1.61 xFIP on the day. After an Acuna single was the only baserunner for the seventh for Atlanta, Collin McHugh made his first appearance after a COVID absence and was not sharp as he allowed a leadoff homer to old friend Rafael Ortega, as well as a walk and a single. He struck out two to end the inning though.
A William Contreras double was the only Atlanta baserunner of the eighth for Atlanta. Jesus Cruz worked around a walk and a single for a scoreless ninth and the Braves had three outs left, down four runs. Adam Duvall blooped in a lucky double to lead off the inning and came home to score on a line drive single from Harris. Acuna hit a 113.2 MPH .880 xBA lineout for the second out and Dansby ended the game on a 104.8 MPH .540 xBA lineout of his own. A very fitting ending to this horrid game of BABIP luck.
The one bright side of this loss is that Ronald Acuna appears to have found his swing again after being in a mini-slump for the last few games. Anyway, join us for a hopefully less dumb game at the same time and same place tomorrow.