It’s never just one thing with this team. It is always bad news compounded on top of bad games and disappointments stacked on top of frustrations. The Braves lost 4-1 to the Cincinnati Reds, and again it almost feels like a backburner issue after the news of Mike Soroka’s latest setback. The news broke about Soroka re-tearing his achilles and being officially ruled out of 2021 a couple hours before first pitch, and then the Braves fell flat against Luis Castillo.
Unfortunately, we’re only just now coming up to the halfway point of this season.
- We’re pretty thin here today, but Ian Andesron had his season-high in strikeouts today with nine. The best part of that was those nine strikeouts didn’t just consist of him dropping his changeup; he had five strikeouts with his fastball, two with his curveball and two with that changeup. It wasn’t a perfect start, but he was very effective and at least gave the Braves a chance to win. Or, he would have if the offense had done anything.
- William Contreras finally got his bat going with two hits today. One of them even looked like it was going to lead to an RBI before Guillermo Heredia was gunned down at home plate. The dynamic is a lot different when Conteras is hitting and adding depth to the bottom third.
- Shane Greene finally looked like the version of Shane Greene the Braves hoped they’d get when they signed him with a 1-2-3 seventh.
- Yet another game where the Braves fell behind in the first inning and never pulled the game back even to a tie. They fell behind in the first inning last Sunday against the Cardinals and never pulled it back, fell behind in the first inning and never got the lead in both losses to the Mets and it happened again today. You can say a lot about this bullpen, but the bullpen isn’t even getting the chance to lose the games right now.
- 1-for-7 with RISP, including three soul-sucking at-bats in the second inning with a chance to immediately answer the run the Reds put up in the first inning. Again. Wash, rinse, repeat.
- Ender Inciarte’s bat (or lack thereof) was right in the middle of the struggles today. He had one of his patented rollovers to second base with two on and two out in the second, struck out with a runner on base in the fourth and his presence lurking in the on-deck circle probably at least contributed to sending Heredia home on Contreras’ in the sixth inning with two outs. I accept that it’s basically impossible to have a lineup with eight most teams have a weak spot in the lineup, but his time in Atlanta can’t end soon enough.
- It’s not as awful as 2015 or 2016 of course, but man 2021 can’t end soon enough. We really still have 86 more games, huh?
Former Brave Of The Day:
Might as well give it to Brad Brach, who got the biggest out of the game for the Reds today by striking out Contreras with the tying runs on base to end the eighth.
Quote Of The Game:
“What else do I have to say?”
— Billy Joel, and also me trying to figure out different ways to say “2021 has been bad” over and over.
Make it out of the first two innings without trailing. Yes, the bar is low, but that’s where we are right now.