The Braves will give us a show, that’s for sure. Down 6 – 4, Atlanta loaded the bases in the 8th but could not score. Ronald Acuna Jr. led off the 9th with his 2nd homer of the game, and the Braves got runners to 1st and 3rd with one out, but Sean Murphy got his bat sawed off and the result was a game ending ground ball double play.
The White Sox touched Spencer Strider for 5 runs on 8 hits in 6 innings, despite 10 more strikeouts. The Braves lead Major League Baseball in ERA, but it doesn’t feel like it sometimes, does it? Maybe that’s partly because in 2022, 8 teams had lower ERAs than Atlanta’s current 3.62. Strider’s ERA of 3.66 stands as a proxy for the team.
One difference in the game was that Andrew Benintendi chest-blocked Matt Olson‘s one out line drive single to left in the 9th, stopping Ozzie Albies at 3rd with the tying run, while Eddie Rosario whiffed on two different line drives bouncing in front, resulting in most likely a run apiece. However, Eddie did get the Braves on the board with his 15th homer of the season. His up and down night was concluded when he left in the top of the 6th with reported hamstring tightness. At least he didn’t spike himself.
Ronald’s homers were his 22nd and 23rd, and he ended up 3 – 5 with 3 RBIs and stole his 47th base of the season. Ozzie Albies had 2 hits, including a triple that just missed clearing the right field wall. Michael Tonkin pitched 2 scoreless innings after Joe Jimenez allowed the final Chicago run in the 7th. The Braves did not walk a batter all night.
Mounting injuries remind us that there is half a season remaining with a lot to unfold before us, and a crapshoot following that. It’s sure been fun so far, though.
With Eddie Rosario on the shelf, Sam Hilliard gets his first look at in-game pitching for the first time this decade. I’m sure he’ll be fine…
Charlie Ain’t Goin’ Nowhere
We can argue that Spencer Strider is the Braves most dominant starting pitcher, but Charlie Morton has been dominant and according to Statcast, had the most effective pitch in all of MLB in the first half. AA’s going to be picking up that option!
Let’s not deny it. This season has been so much fun because our team is the best team in the Majors, but it’s also been fun because the Mets, who’s owner tried to buy a title, are LOL’ing on a regular basis.