The Atlanta Braves came off of a successful road trip to take on the Chicago Cubs. Chicago has started to play a little better lately as they headed to Atlanta. First, the Braves had to travel to Chicago for a make-up game from April after the weather was dreadful in Chicago. Atlanta would end up winning that game by a final of 6-5 behind a good pitching performance from Julio Teheran (6 IP, 4 H, 4 ER, 3 BB, 1 K) and homers from Albies (3-5, 1 RBI), Flowers (2-2, 2 RBIs, 3 BB), and Bautista (1-4, 3 RBIs, 1 BB).
Back in Atlanta, the Braves would face Yu Darvish for the second time this season. Darvish would only go 4 innings (3 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 5 K) as he struggled with command most of the game. Both teams were tied at 1-1 for a majority of the game thanks to a solo home run from Ender Inciarte who finished the day 2-4. The bottom of the 5th saw a lot of drama take place on the base paths. Charlie Culberson pinch hit for Mike Foltynewicz (5 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 5 BB, 10K) and reached on a fielder’s choice that saw Johan Camargo advance to third on a throwing error. Atlanta had runners at 2nd and 3rd with no outs.
Camargo attempted to score on a wild pitch at home plate and appeared to have been safe. However, he was called out by home plate umpire Jim Wolf. The Braves would call for it to be reviewed and it appeared to me and many others that his fingertips touch home plate before the tag is applied. New York replay deemed that he was out. Culberson would try and steal third on another wild pitch and be called out even though he appeared safe (Atlanta could not challenge due to losing the previous challenge). This squandered the Braves chances at a big inning and sparked a huge debate in the following days about replay.
It looked as if Atlanta was going to take the win after Ronald Acuña Jr. (1-3, 1 RBI, 1 BB) blasted a solo home run to deep center field in the bottom of the 8th inning with 2 outs. Unfortunately, Braves closer Arodys Vizcaíno (2.75 ERA) would blow the save as the Cubs scored 2 runs in the top of the 9th inning. Atlanta dropped game 2 in heart breaking fashion by a final score of 3-2.
Game 2 saw a much better result for Atlanta as they won by a final of 4-1. Brandon McCarthy had a great outing as he went 6 innings allowing 1 earned run on 5 hits with 2 walks and 8 strike outs. His command was back and it seemed that his breaking ball was a lot more effective this time around. However, this game was very similar to game 1 as it stood at a 1-1 tie going into the 8th inning. The Braves would continue their great work in the late innings as they would score 3 runs off of Cubs reliever Carl Edwards Jr. (3.79 ERA). Ronald Acuña Jr. (2-4, 1 RBI) hit a line drive single that scored Ozzie Albies (2-4). Tyler Flowers (1-3, 1 RBI, 1 BB) and Johan Camargo (0-2, 1 RBI, 2 BB) both walked with the bases loaded to give Atlanta the 4-1 score. Arodys Vizcaíno would redeem himself from game 1 and pick up his 8th save of the season.
Game 3 was set to feature Mike Soroka and Jon Lester. However, a few hours prior to the game Soroka was place on the 10 day DL with a shoulder strain. Atlanta said it is just a precautionary move to make sure Mike doesn’t do any more damage. Max Fried was called up for a spot start due to Mike’s injury. Unfortunately, mother nature had other plans as the final game would be rained out. That game will be made up on August 30th at 7:35 EST at SunTrust Park.
The Braves take on Miami in 3 games at home beginning tomorrow night at 7:35 EST. Here are your probable starters for the series. Game 1: Sean Newcomb vs Dan Straily. Game 2: Julio Tehran vs Jose Urena . Game 3: Mike Foltynewicz vs Wei Yin Chen.
- The Atlanta offense continues to impress me in the late innings of games. This team never seems to give up when it seems all hope is lost. In the 8th inning or later, the Braves are second in the majors batting .274 with 9 HR and 56 RBIs with 51 walks. It’s nice to see that we have a team that is willing to give it their all from beginning to end.
- Shane Carle and Dan Winkler deserve a lot of credit for how well this bullpen has done lately. Carle is 2-1 with a 0.72 ERA across 25 innings pitched. He has also racked up 19 strike outs and a 0.94 WHIP in that time frame as well. Dan Winkler also has a ridiculous ERA right now. Winkler is 1-0 with a 0.98 ERA across 18 1/3 innings pitched. Dan has also struck out 27 batters this season. I’m in awe of how well both of these guys have pitched so far for Atlanta. I hope they are able to keep it up the rest of the season.
- Lastly, I want to weigh in on the replay controversy very briefly. I understand why the call at home plate was not overturned for Atlanta. He was clearly safe, in my opinion, but MLB review did not seem to agree with that because of the angles they had. I think if replay is going to be used in MLB games then Major League Baseball is going to need to find a way to invest in dedicated cameras for replay only. This would not only help increase the consistency of correct calls but also timely review processes. If the goal of replay is for the play to be called correctly, then let’s do all we can to ensure it is being given the best opportunity.