The age-old lie rings thru my head every time the Braves lose…it’s the lie the serpent planted in Adam and Eve in the Garden…is he good? I’m a preacher by day but on vacation for the next week. I never would have seen the finish to a West Coast Saturday night game if I wasn’t on vacation, but I’m glad to report I saw Raisel Iglesias close this one out late last night.
Coming off Friday’s loss, that question was again ringing in my ears, “Are the Braves good?” They are, friends, and don’t let anyone tell you differently! Eight of the 10 hardest-hit balls came off Braves’ bats and Spencer Strider only struck out seven in a 5-2 win over the tempting Serpents, who also happen to be good. Strider improved to 6-2 with the win and Iglesias recorded his sixth save in the win.
Entering the contest, I said the Braves needed a good effort from Strider, needed Eddie Rosario to treat Ryne Nelson as if he pitched for the Dodgers, and needed to get Marcell OHzuna and Michael Harris II going. Strider was great, working 6+ while allowing 1 ER (the one that scored when Jesse Chavez hit a batter after loading the bases in the bottom of the seventh should be credited to Chavez in my official scorebook). Strider struck out seven and walked four against the Serpents.
Rosario was 2-for-4 with a triple, run scored, and an RBI. OHzuna was 2-for-3 with a BB, run scored, and RBI (saying so long to NOzuna at least for this game), and Harris was 1-for-4 on the night. But that doesn’t tell the story for Harris II. He had the hardest hit ball of the night, a 113.8 mph single, and three other hard-hit balls that accounted for five outs…that’s right, he hit into two double plays with “at ’em balls” of 109.0 and 104.1 mph exit velocity. Baseball…
The Braves scored single runs in the third, fourth, and fifth innings before tacking on two in the sixth. Harris II’s second GIDP plated the fourth run, and a 464-ft bomb off the bat of Ronald Acuna, Jr. completed the Braves scoring on the night. Check it out…
Acuna added his 24th stolen base of the season and is an incredible balance of power and speed. His steal of third came when he decided he could out-run the third baseman to the bag, and the blast was his 10th straight home run over 420 feet.
Sunday, the Braves send Maple Maddux (Michael Soroka) to the mound for his second start of the season against Strider’s NL competition for the Cy Young award 1/3 of the way through the season in Zac Gallen. Gallen (7-2, 2.72 ERA, 1.03 WHIP) has been fantastic for the Serpents. It would be nice to see Matt Olson and Austin Riley pummel Gallen a bit. It would also be nice take 2-out-of-3 in the desert, but don’t fall prey to the lie if Gallen happens to keep the offense in check today…the Braves ARE good! First pitch is set for 4:10 ET/3:10 CT.