The Braves are closest they have been to the top of the NL East division in two months.
While the Braves remain in a twilight zone that is defined by alternating wins and losses, the New York Mets continue to struggle for positive outcomes own and off the field. The end result is Atlanta now being 2 1⁄2 games out in the race for the NL East division. Furthermore, though the Braves have not been able to put two wins together in a row in the second half of the season, they are continuing to make small steps toward playing better.
The Braves scored five runs in the first inning against Jon Lester to take control of the game early. The Braves knew they needed to quickly figure out how to succeed against southpaws, and they did exactly that. Power, patience, and some timely hitting all played a part in the great start. As Freddie Freeman added an insurance run with a home run of his own later in the game, Max Fried dominated the Cardinals for six innings. Atlanta is continuing to find ways to succeed from both its rotation and lineup in the same game more often.
The key is now to obviously do it in consecutive games. The Braves clearly have the division lead within their sights and arguably are playing the best baseball in the division at the moment (as hard as it is to believe.) The Braves now must simply do something they have struggled to do all season- make the most of the situation in front of them.
- One of the bigger developments from Atlanta’s 6-1 win over the Cardinals was Jorge Soler’s first home run as a Brave. Though Soler certainly has experienced plenty of struggles this season, he is the type of offensive producer that can really support a good stretch of play due to his power.
- While the major league team has certainly experienced some bad luck on the injury front this season, the minor league system has been somewhat ok up to this point. However, the Braves received some unfortunate news about 2021 second round pick Spencer Schwellenbach on Tuesday, as he will need to undergo Tommy John surgery in the near future.
- Austin Riley’s excellent July production was not only a sight to see many times during the month, but it was very much needed for the Braves offense. However, Riley’s production in critical situations, and mainly his struggles, caught the eye of Talking Chop’s Ivan the Great, who did a deep dive into the numbers.
- In another bit of positive news on the injury front for the Major League squad, talented young right-hander Ian Anderson has been cleared to make his first rehab start in his quest to return from injury. While it will still likely be a few weeks before he can return to Atlanta, the simple fact that he is starting that journey is great to see.
- As the Mets certainly are experiencing their struggles on the field, they also continue to face bad luck off it. After Jacob deGrom received news it likely will be another month before he can return to the mound, he remained optimistic he will get the chance to return later this year.
- A blast from the past is starting to show he still has what it takes to succeed in Detroit. Miguel Cabrera is heating up, as he hit his 11th home run of the season. He now is two shy of reaching 500 long balls in his career.
- A scary scene from early this week hopefully is working its way toward a positive conclusion. Philadelphia Phillies third base prospect Daniel Brito needed help after experiencing a “medical emergency” during a game a few days ago. He is currently in stable condition, with hope that he will continue working his way back to good health in the near future.
- While there is plenty of baseball to enjoy state side, Team USA is still alive and well over in Japan during the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Led by Red Sox top prospect Tristion Casas, Team USA defeated the Dominican Republic 3-1 in their quest to have a shot at the Gold Medal. They will either face South Korea or Japan in their next contest.