Well, I’m never going to complain about that. The Atlanta Braves dominated the St. Louis Cardinals at Truist Park, winning 9-1 in the second game of the four-game series. In some ways, it’s very comforting.
In a lot of ways, the Cardinals are the closest thing to the Braves in the rest of baseball. Both teams made the postseason in each of the last two years, had huge expectations going into this year, have been hit by the injury bug and have had serious issues with their starting pitching. All of it has led to both teams looking up at multiple teams in the standings while straddling the .500 line.
It sounds crazy given the rivalry that has developed between the teams, but right now they’re us and we’re them. And those similarities just makes it all the better that the Braves have beaten them two nights in a row. Even if things aren’t going according to plan for us, they’re definitely not going to plan in St. Louis and the Braves are making it even worse for the Cardinals.
Hopefully it continues the next two nights.
- Vintage Max Fried. Seven innings, two hits, and he had everything working. Easily his best start of the season and he carved up a talented (albeit struggling) St. Louis lineup for it. That’s the version of Fried the Braves are going to need every fifth day.
- It was so satisfying to see the Braves put a game away early. No bullpen shenanigans, no worries about bullpen shenanigans, just 9-1 after four innings and nothing more to it than that. They’ve needed a win like that for a few weeks now.
- Ozzie Albies: Hotter than your steering wheel after you couldn’t find a parking spot in the shade. Three more hits and three more RBIs for the scorching Albies tonight.
- I really like that even after Ronald Acuña Jr. got thrown out stealing in the first inning, the Braves still rallied to score with two outs and nobody on. That felt like an early moment in the game where Carlos Martinez was rattled, and it meant Fried never had to throw a pitch from behind tonight.
- Good for William Contreras getting back on the home run train with his second inning shot. He called a beautiful game from behind the plate, and he did it on one knee for good measure!
- Abraham Almonte looks more than adequate in left field. Maybe it’s just an early hot streak like Heredia had before some regression to the mean, but the Braves are getting actual offensive value out of their left field position right now.
- Acuña 40/40 tracker: 18/15 with 95 games to go. It’s possible, y’all.
- Edgar Santana and Jacob Webb got back on the beam with scoreless low-leverage innings. Don’t laugh, it’s something!
- The Braves have now outscored the Cardinals 13-1 in this series, which I am enjoying immensely more than the last time the Braves and Cardinals played to a 13-1 score.
- Neither one caused any damage, but I’m still really tired of watching. Acuña get hit by pitches. Two more tonight brings his season total to seven and his career total to 28 including the postseason. For context, Chipper Jones was only hit by a pitch 19 times in his entire career.
Former Brave Of The Day:
We’re digging way, way into the bottom of the barrel of random old Braves tonight. Former third catcher René Rivera had three hits and three RBIs for Cleveland tonight, although he was on the losing end of a wild 11-10 game against the Pirates at PNC Park.
Quote Of The Game:
“There’s nothing to it. Baseball isn’t that tough to play.”
– Red Schoendienst
The Braves have gotten good bullpen work on back-to-back days in games that weren’t particularly close. Can they finally get some clutch relief work in a tight game if the situation arises? Maybe? Hopefully???