After 48 games played so far, the Braves are 29-19 and sit 1/2 a game in first place above the 28-19 Phillies. Atlanta’s offense struggled mightily in a series that saw Phillies pitching step up and execute the best I’ve seen them all season. Braves hitters only managed a .228/.271/.287 slash line and left 23 runners on base. The Braves haven’t really struggled to drive in runs as they have the best average in MLB with runners in scoring position. They have a .294 average (19 HR & 174 RBIs) with runners in scoring position so that was a cause for concern.
Game 1 featured Mike Foltynewicz and Nick Pivetta in a great match-up. Folty had a good start as he went 6 innings on 6 hits with 1 earned run, 2 walks, and 5 strike outs. Nick Pivetta absolutely carved up the Braves offense as he went 7 innings on 4 hits with 0 earned runs, 1 walk, and 7 strike outs. The Phillies would end up taking game 1 by a 3-0 final.
Brandon McCarthy took the mound in Game 2 and pitched 5 2/3 innings of good baseball. McCarthy only allowed 1 earned run on 4 hits with 2 walks and 5 strike outs. Atlanta’s offense picked up in game 2 as they tallied 3 runs on 10 hits. All 3 runs were scored by Ozzie Albies who finished the day 2-4 for with 1 RBI and 1 walk. However, the Braves did struggle against Phillies’ starter Vince Velasquez who struck out 9 batters across 4 1/3 innings. Atlanta would take game 2 by a 3-1 final.
Luiz Gohara had his first start of the season for the Braves and went 4 innings allowing 2 earned runs on 4 hits with 4 walks and 6 strike outs. It wasn’t his best outing but Gohara showed plenty of signs that he is beginning to pitch well again. His slider looked crisp until the 4th inning and his fastball had life the entire game (95-96 mph consistently). Atlanta notched 8 hits in the game but couldn’t capitalize when runners were on base. The Braves went 0-6 with runners in scoring position leaving 8 men on base. Jake Arrieta was tough against Atlanta as he struck out 7 Braves in 6 2/3 innings on 7 hits. Game 3 would have a 4-0 final in favor of Philadelphia as the Braves lose their first series against the Phillies this season.
Atlanta will need to do a lot better as they head to Boston to take on one of the best teams in baseball. Believe it or not, Atlanta still has the second best batting average behind Boston in Major League Baseball at .264 with 57 HR and 234 RBIs. They’ll face nothing but left-handed starting pitching which they’ve thrived against this season. Atlanta has a MLB best .287 average against left-handed pitchers this season with 21 HR and 62 RBIs.