All year we’ve been frustrated about the Braves not doing the little things good teams do. Not taking advantage of openings. Not shutting down tight games. Not adding on late with leads. 

Mission accomplished tonight. 

The Braves scored early and late, navigating a wobble in the middle innings to down the Washington Nationals 8-3 and match their longest winning streak of the season at four games. Atlanta is now 56-54 on the season, the high-water mark of the year so far. This week started with the longest streak of alternating futility in baseball history, and it’s ensign with arguably the best stretch of the season so far. Baseball! 


  • When was the last time you saw a game where the key moment was a catcher’s interference? That’s exactly what happened tonight. Jorge Soler reached base on one with two outs and nobody on in the fifth inning, and that turned into a three-run inning that gave the Braves a lead they never relinquished. It was the smallest of openings, but they took advantage. 
  • In fact, this was the second night in a row the Braves flipped a game on its head with a big inning that started after the first two batters were retired. Good teams walk through the door when it’s left open, even if the opening is just a crack. 
  • The bullpen! I am still not ready to call this unit good, but it really is crazy what one big acquisition and a little bit of consistency can do. Five relievers combined to throw 4 â…“ innings of one-run ball tonight, and all but three of those outs were while the game was still very much in doubt. And best of all, Brian Snitker was able to stay away from both Richard Rodriguez and Will Smith after they worked the last two nights. 
  • Speaking of the bullpen, Luke Jackson’s inning was about as dominant as any inning from any Braves reliever all season. 16 pitches, 10 strikes, three strikeouts with his slider. Thanks for playing, Nationals. 
  • I’m just going to keep telling the front office/ownership to extend Freddie Freeman in these pieces every time he does anything. Three more hits for the reigning MVP tonight, including a clutch two-run single that doubled the lead in the eighth. Extend him. 
  • Adam Duvall looks like he never even left. The RBI machine picked up three more tonight, because of course he did.
  • Dansby Swanson legged out a crucial infield hit that ended up being the game-winning RBI. Every little bit matters.
  • Max Fried: Professional pinch hitter.


  • Kyle Muller had a Rick Ankiel postseason performance tonight, and I’m not talking about the 2010 NLDS. Did he have yips? Was it just a lack of grip on the ball? Was he overthrowing? Whatever it was, it was rough. He sent four pitches to the backstop, two of which resulted in Washington runs. It’s hard to know what will happen to the rotation when Huascar Ynoa returns to the fold, but tonight definitely didn’t help his chances if his name is on the bubble. 
  • It’s nothing to panic about, but Ozzie Albies is now 2-for-16 at the plate from the lead-off spot after another 0-for-4 night tonight. It might be time to get Joc Pederson back up there, or maybe even try Jorge Soler in that spot. 
  • It sounds like this will be the last series without Travis d’Arnaud, and thank goodness. The standard of hitting behind the plate for the Braves right now is…poor. To say the least. 

Former Brave Of The Day: 

I’ll admit to barrel-scraping on a night without a lot of action from former Braves around the league, but former Braves draft pick Adam Wainwright allowed just two runs in seven innings for the Cardinals tonight. It counts!

Quote Of The Game: 

“I don’t want to embarrass any other catcher by comparing him to Johnny Bench.” 

— Sparky Anderson

Tomorrow’s Goal: 

Secure the longest winning streak of the season to date.