Despite two straight losses, the Braves showed they clearly belong among the game’s best.
Is it fair to suggest a game can be both frustrating and fun as heck at the same time?
Joc Pederson’s ejection, Freddie Freeman being called out despite being safe, the bad strike three call against Ozzie Albies-each of these contributed to one of the unluckiest nights of the year for Atlanta so far this season.
Yet the Braves still fought back and created a chance to win the game.
The last out of the game came with Freddie Freeman flying out with the bases loaded when he had a chance to win the game. Sure, it stings the job was not done. However, if you go back a month ago or before that earlier this season, the Braves likely never work their way back to at least have the chance at a win.
A lack of luck certainly played its part in last night’s lost. However, the more talented offense, which I think its fair to suggest when it comes to the Yankees, simply did a better job over the past two games scoring runs, via power or situational hitting. However, in a setup that certainly felt like playoff baseball, the Braves showed they belong. Between Huascar Ynoa on Monday and the bullpen last night, Atlanta’s pitching proved they can hold up against one of baseball’s most potent lineups. And though it may have been a bit too late this time around, the Braves offense certainly was much better last night than Monday.
The Braves remain 4 1/2 games ahead of the Phillies, who will be playing each of the next two days while Atlanta can enjoy a bit of rest. With a few added reinforcements potentially on the way before welcoming the Giants to town, the Braves are in a good position to regroup and thrive.
- Though Charlie Morton struggled a bit against the Yankees, the Braves bullpen did well by allowing only one run over four innings of work. Though Austin Riley did have a costly base running error, he also was a key cog to the offense performing better than it did on Monday.
- Without a doubt, the biggest positive of the night for the Braves franchise was how well Ian Anderson looked in his latest rehab start at Gwinnett:
Ian Anderson’s night is over after a very strong rehab performance! Anderson struck out 9 batters in 5.0 innings of work. Allowing only 3 hits, 1 run, and 2 walks. The @Braves starting pitcher now has 20 strikeouts!
⬇️ Anderson Highlights ⬇️ pic.twitter.com/VxMKmydEe4
— Gwinnett Stripers (@GoStripers) August 25, 2021
- It seems there is a strong chance this could be Anderson’s final rehab start before his return to Atlanta. Though the specifics of when that might be are up in the air, there could be more certainty to come over the next few days.
- In more positive news, after being away for a few days due to the birth of his son, Travis d’Arnaud returned to the Braves. He did secure a hit in his return, and the Braves are certainly glad to have him back.
- As the Braves honored the late, great Phil Niekro during the series with the Yankees, it certainly will be hard to forget the man and pitcher he was. From numerous first hand accounts, the Braves and the city of Atlanta were lucky to have witnessed the majority of his Hall of Fame career in person.
- Before they arrive in Atlanta on Friday, the Giants actually could help the Braves as they face the Mets. San Francisco got off to a great start on Tuesday, as they used four home runs to defeat the Mets 8-0.
- The Cardinals and catcher Yadier Molina agreed to a one-year extension through 2022. The durable backstop will be back for another year with the Cardinals, which will be his 19th season. Though nothing is official, it does seem there is a good chance it will be his last year before retirement.
- MLB delivered its second suspension with regards to its new rules around pitchers using foreign substances. Arizona pitcher Caleb Smith received a ten game suspension, the same that was given to Seattle’s Hector Santiago earlier this year. Smith will appeal.
- Though he was at a new position on Tuesday night, slugger Nelson Cruz continued to do what he has always done best. Cruz delivered the big hit for the Rays in a 3-1 victory over the Phillies, a result that kept the Yankees from gaining ground on the Rays or the Phillies getting closer to the Braves in their respective division standings.