The 2021 Atlanta Braves have become known for prodigious offensive firepower, but sometimes, a team that hopes to make the postseason has to find another way to win.
On Friday, the Braves (75-65) did just that in a 6-2 win over the Miami Marlins (59-82).
Atlanta hitters did notch eight hits in the games, including doubles by Travis d’Arnaud and Freddie Freeman. But the home team didn’t notch a home run a day after Thursday’s power surge against the Nationals, instead relying on a pair of costly fifth-inning errors to ice a victory over Miami.
Trailing 2-0 on a first-inning home run by Jesus Sanchez, the Braves got the party started with d’Arnaud’s one-out double in the fifth. After Orlando Arcia drew a walk, Guillermo Heredia was hit by a pitch to load the bases ahead of a pinch hit single by Ehire Adrianza to get the Braves on the board.
Then, after a strikeout by Ozzie Albies, Jorge Soler notched an RBI single to center that proved even bigger when Bryan De La Cruz misplayed the ball to allow the bases to clear. That made the score 4-2, and Soler would score on an infield single by Freddie Freeman that also included a throwing error by Isan Diaz.
The Braves tacked on an insurance run on an eighth-inning single by Orlando Arcia, who helped provide Dansby Swanson with his first full day off all season. In his first start at shortstop for Atlanta, Arcia went 1-for-3 with a walk, an RBI and a run.
Atlanta starter Ian Anderson (7-5) got the win, striking out nine batters against five hits and two walks in five innings. The Braves’ bullpen was exceptionally sharp, as Sean Newcomb, Luke Jackson, Tyler Matzek and Will Smith combined for four scoreless innings with eight combined strikeouts and just two baserunners allowed.
The good news continued in Philadelphia, as the Phillies lost 11-2 to the Colorado Rockies. The NL East results pushed the Braves’ division lead to 4.5 games just a few days after it shrank to 1.5 games on Labor Day.
The Braves will send Charlie Morton (13-5, 3.47 ERA) to the mound for Saturday’s second game against the Marlins, who will turn to Elieser Hernandez (1-1, 3.90).
Charlie seems to be on a roll. He should get 5 more starts. If he continues and can get 2-3 more wins (I know it’s not a great stat), he’s probably going to pick up some down ballot Cy votes although there’s certainly several pitchers having great seasons.
You know, off the top of my head, I can’t remember who was the last 15-game winner for the Braves. Anyway I’m certainly rooting for Charlie to achieve that feat.
Max Fried won 17 just two years ago. He did not start a game in the 5 game playoff series against the Cards. Soroka was next with 13 wins; he started one game of the five, while Folty started two.
But I’m over it.
I am not paranoid about replay…. (Repeat 10 times… I am not paranoid about replay… I am not paranoid about replay…) But somehow I think that if Villar had been, say, Ozzie Albies, the call would have stood.
Really hard to escape feeling that way. Replay review isn’t exactly conducted as a double-blind experiment.
Also, watching the replay of the 5th inning last night, I won’t say I felt bad for the Marlins… but that must have been AGONIZING to watch. A bunch of ground balls with eyes and defensive lapses and pretty soon your pitcher who was cruising has just given up a five-spot. That exact thing happened to Morton a bunch in the first couple months. As a fan, it feels like watching a slow motion train wreck.
ON THE OTHER HAND, couldn’t’ve happened to a nicer ballclub. I hope Don Mattingly tossed and turned all night.
@4 – That send, though! Wow. It’s not like the pitcher was on deck.
And how can that not be an error on Sanchez? (I know, the rules.)
@5 Haha, agreed on all counts!
I gotta say, the young pitching on the Marlins is really impressive – Rogers / Alcantara / Pablo Lopez / Luzardo all 25 and under. (Also Sixto Sanchez, but he’s hurt).
Is that better than Fried / Anderson / Ynoa / Toussaint ? I like our group but damn if it isn’t close
@3 I can’t remember why Fried didn’t start in that series. Can you remind me?
@8–they decided to use him out of the pen instead; still not sure why. And Soroka only started once because they thought he’d be better on the road. So they saved him for game three. He was terrific in his one start but it meant he could only start once.
@9 That’s right. I remember now. I think there was also an undercurrent of protecting Fried since he had pitched so many innings.
One of the more boneheaded decisions of the last decade, IMO.
Are any Braves Journalers coming to today’s game?
You there, Ryan? Enjoy!
Not looking good early.
I have to digress to pander a little. Don’t know if anyone watched the 9/11 ceremony before the Mets/Yankees game on Fox, but the young lady that sang the National Anthem and America, the Beautiful is the granddaughter of one of my professors and advisors from college. She’s only 17 but she was pretty magnificent.
Wow, they overturned a call on replay.
Great play by Dansby!!
Slick play by Dansby.
Rodriguez became Smyly in a hurry. The Kranitz effect?
Ugh…….Rodriguez. He needs to be bumped backed to low leverage. Bad trade.
How many center cut fastballs is Rodriguez thrown past 5 appearances … he got any other pitches ??
Take him out Snitwit
@ 18 – I am reporting for duty.
RR now has a 6.68 FIP and a -0.5 fWAR. He doesn’t walk anyone but he doesn’t strike anyone out either. We got Pittsburgh’s garbage for a young back end starter. Only bad trade of the deadline.
What’s BS? The overturned call??? He was clearly safe.
@25 I know – they never overturn those exact same plays when it’s the Braves. It’s always inconclusive. It has to be be beyond a shadow of a doubt for them to overturn a call for the Braves (like the one earlier).
The Atlanta Braves do not have one bullpen pitcher you can count on.
Bottom of the ninth, seventh game of the W S, one run lead. Whom do you bring in?
Hell looks like reliever or starter will give up at least one run.
Between the Braves, Phillies, and.the Mets the best of three bad teams will win.
Kinda like elections in Florida.
First, I have a problem with the “the umpires are intentionally screwing us” bit. There’s no way that it’s true, and is almost certain to get your perfectly reasonable issue with the system completely ignored.
Second, there’s no way we wouldn’t have gotten that call overturned in our favor if the roles were reversed.
LOL…Chip is still playing up that torture-chamber, shitstorm of a game the other night as like the best game in baseball history or something. The man is a simpleton.
@28 just shut up and leave it alone. I’m allowed to have an opinion.
@27 Sadly, all of them are up and down. The worst problem is the pitching coach though.
Sounds like I missed a fun one.
Are our pitchers incredibly inefficient? Or are complete games that aren’t shutouts just not a thing anymore?
27 — I’m probably bringing in Morton on 2 days rest to get the last 3 outs after he started Games 1 and 5.
With Pederson slumping, Snitker probably needs to give some of his PAs to Rosario.