The Braves continue to have the best first inning offense in baseball: 4 runs in the first.

Hybernation mode is still a thing: no runs in innings 2 through 9.

Bryce Elder turned in yet another excellent start: 6 IP, 1 run (no earned runs), 6 K’s, 1 BB.  His ERA is 1.14.

How is he doing this? I don’t know, but let’s not question it, let’s just appreciate it.

The bullpen has been very good so far this young season: before last night, tied for second in MLB fWAR, despite missing the presumptive closer and top right handed set up man for most of the season so far.

That bullpen luck ran out last night. I love Jesse Chavez and the story of what he’s done with the Braves the last couple of years, including this one before tonight.  But you knew he wasn’t going to keep a zero ERA, right?  Still, giving up 3 runs without retiring a batter in the 7th was a pretty big crash to earth. So it was 4-4 in the 7th.

Dylan Lee rescued Uncle Jesse and retired the Astros without further damage.  I predict that he will retain a 0.00 ERA for the season.  Nick Anderson pitched a scoreless 8th.  He’s a keeper.

AJ Minter has been very good as the closer.  But Yordan Alvarez is very good at crushing baseballs, and his two run shot in the 9th made it 6-4.  Don’t worry about Minter—he’ll be fine.  This kind of thing will happen occasionally.

Really, the bullpen injuries were bound to catch up at some point.  Here’s some good news: Collin McHugh made an effective rehab start last night and appears ready to return.  His return will put Chavez one step down the bullpen pecking order.

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Today is the birthday of the great Marshawn Lynch. His advice to younger teammates is something I tell my children and my students: “Take care of your body, take care of your mentals, and take care of your chicken.”  (I would embed the video for the entire speech, but this is a family friendly blog.)

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Don’t look now, but the Mets are playing great baseball.  The Braves are still winning at a .700 clip, but the Mutts are just a half game back.  We may have us another great pennant race on our hands. Just 144 games left to play! 

Tonight the Braves try to even the series: Kyle Wright against Framber Valdez.