Atlanta looked to change their fortunes after a rough road trip and get back to their winning ways. They would face two tough division foes in the New York Mets and Washington Nationals who have each been playing better as of late. The Braves would split 2 out of 4 games with New York and take 3 out of 4 from the Nationals. This home stand was highlighted by Charlie Culberson’s clutch work off the bench for Atlanta. Culberson started and ended the home stand with walk-off home runs to left field.
Braves vs. Mets
Game 1: Braves win 4-3
This game was highlighted by the Braves late inning heroics. Jacob deGrom was practically untouchable as he went 7 innings allowing only 1 ER on 5 hits while striking out 8 Braves. The 1 earned run allowed was a solo home run by Tyler Flowers in the 7th inning. Markakis tied the game in the 8th with a sacrifice fly to right field. Atlanta trailed in the 9th inning 3-2 after Devin Mesoraco hit a home run off of Shane Carle. Fortunately for the Braves, Johan Camargo walked to start the bottom of the ninth and Charlie Culberson launched a 2-run pinch hit walk-off home run to give Atlanta a 4-3 win.
Game 2: Mets win 8-5
This was the second game of a double header and ended up being a bullpen game for the Mets. P.J. Conlon started for New York and the Braves greeted him with 4 runs on 8 hits. Unfortunately, that’s all the luck Atlanta would really have with the Mets bullpen. Brandon McCarthy struggled through 5 1/3 innings allowing 5 earned runs on 9 hits. The bullpen didn’t do much better as they allowed 3 earned runs on 6 hits combined. Atlanta would fall 8-5 in game 2.
Game 3: Braves win 7-6
Late inning magic was a factor in this game as well. The Mets led the Braves 6-2 heading into the 7th inning. Anibal Sanchez started for the first time in a about a month and a half. Sanchez struggled as he only went 4 innings allowing 4 earned runs on 5 hits. However, Atlanta would tie the game in the bottom of the 8th thanks to Preston Tucker grounding into a fielder’s choice and Ender Inciarte hit a 2-run triple to tie the game at 6 a piece. Johan Camargo provided his mother with a great birthday present as he hit a walk-off home run to give the Braves a 7-6 victory.
Game 4: Mets win 4-1
Johan Camargo homered in this game but that would be the only run Atlanta could produce in the series finale. Mets starter Jason Vargas struck out 2 Braves across innings allowing only 1 hit. Julio Teheran pitched a fairly good game but couldn’t find any run support. Teheran finished 7 innings of work allowing 2 earned runs on 5 hits while striking out 3 batters. Atlanta would fall 4-1 in the final game of the series.
Braves vs. Nationals
Game 1: Braves win 4-2
Atlanta touched Tanner Roark for 4 earned runs across 6 2/3 innings. Early RBI doubles from Tucker and Freeman helped Sean Newcomb settle into a great outing. Newcomb started out rough as he walked 2 batters and allowed an earned run on a sacrifice fly. Luckily, Sean finished with 7 strong innings allowing just 2 earned runs on 4 hits with 2 strike outs. Arodys Vizcaino picked up his 10th save of the season as he struck out the side to give the Braves a 4-2 victory.
Game 2: Braves win 4-0
This game was highlighted by a 3-run home run from Dansby Swanson and an amazing 2-hit shut out by Mike Foltynewicz. Foltynewicz earned his first complete game shut out as he struck out 11 Nationals in that time frame. Stephen Strasburg struck out 10 Braves across 6 2/3 innings and didn’t allow an earned run until Dansby Swanson tagged him with a 3-run shot to left field. Atlanta took game 2 of the series with a 4-0 final.
Game 3: Nationals win 5-3
The Braves fought hard in game 3 as it took 14 innings to settle this one. Atlanta took a 3-2 lead into the 7th inning but Nationals left fielder Juan Soto had other plans as he hit a solo home run off of Sam Freeman to tie the game. Brandon McCarthy had a good start as he went 6 innings allowing only 2 earned runs on 4 hits while striking out 7. Unfortunately, low run support ultimately gave McCarthy a no decision in the 5-3 loss in extras.
Game 4: Braves win 4-2
Anibal Sanchez bounced back from a rough outing against the Mets as he went 7 innings allowing 0 earned runs on only 2 hits while striking out 5 batters. Atlanta was down 2-1 heading into the 7th inning but Dansby Swanson tied the game at 2 with a solo home run to left field. Swanson made a gutsy base running decision in the bottom of the ninth as he stretched a single into a double to put the winning run in scoring position. Charlie Culberson found himself in familiar territory as he came on to pinch hit for Vizcaino. Culberson launched a 2-run walk-off home run on the second pitch he saw to give the Braves a series win over the Nationals with a 4-2 final.
Atlanta finds themselves in first place as they head out on the road to face the Padres and Dodgers. The Braves will look to build on the recent success of the pitching staff and boost the offense to separate themselves from the Nationals in the division standings. It will be tough as they face the Padres and Dodgers who have each played much better as of late.
Probable starters and game times:
Braves at Padres
Game 1: Julio Teheran vs. Clayton Richard 10:10 pm ET
Game 2: Sean Newcomb vs. Jordan Lyle 10:10 pm ET
Game 3: Mike Foltynewicz vs. TBA 3:40 pm ET
Braves at Dodgers
Game 1: Brandon McCarthy vs. Walker Buehler 10:10 pm ET
Game 2: Anibal Sanchez vs. Alex Wood 9:10 pm ET
Game 3: TBA vs. TBA 4:10 pm ET