There was a lot of waiting for a lot of nothing.
Friday’s rainout gave the Braves their first off day of the season, and almost 48 hours of waiting for the follow-up to Thursday’s dramatic win yielded a flat 5-0 loss at Citizens Bank Park.
Four batters, four runs, four losses for the Braves in six road games so far this season. And fittingly enough, all the damage came in the fourth inning.
- I suppose picking out the positives in another Kyle Wright loss is like saying the dentist chair was comfortable at your root canal, but there were a few. He responded well from the fourth inning debacle, allowing just one hit across three more innings after the Bruce home run. His fastball command was on point, and he threw a ton of strikes. At a certain point the positive signs have to turn into positive results, but it feels like he’s inching towards that first career win with every start.
- Two base hits for Adeiny Hechavarría. Every day you can get some value out of the second base position without Ozzie Albies available is a win.
- The Braves are a quarter of the way through the sprint with a 9-6 record. That’s a 36-24 pace, or a 97-65 pace in a normal schedule. Tonight was a terrible performance, but perspective is important.
- Jake Arrieta looked like 2015 Jake Arrieta, and the Braves were more than willing to comply with that by hitting like the 2015 Braves. Getting a shot at Philadelphia’s bullpen in the little league park known as Citizens Bank Park was supposed to be the chicken noodle soup that remedied a scuffling offense. Instead the Braves did the impossible by failing to plate a run in a bandbox against a bullpen with a collective ERA at 7.89. It was a game that showed serious shades of the 1-0 loss at Coors Field last August.
- Austin Riley is an extremely polarizing player, so I’m just going to slide this information across the table like a supervillain’s messenger in a horror movie and let you figure out what to do with it—Riley is 2-for-28 with 12 strikeouts in his last eight games and his season wRC+ is down to 57. The word “yikes” almost doesn’t feel strong enough for those numbers.
- Wright never found command of his offspeed pitches. There were few flashes against the bottom of the lineup in the second inning, but not enough to really cause problems when the middle of the lineup came back around. Realmuto and Bruce were both able to sit on hanging breaking balls and mash them into the seats, and that was all it took to pretty much decide the game.
- Not being able to at least make the backend of Philadelphia’s bullpen pitch could really hurt tomorrow. A seven-inning doubleheader is a crapshoot but Joe Girardi will have all of his best horses available. Of course knowing how the high leverage relievers have pitched so far this season for the Phillies, this might have been a stealthy finesse job from the Braves to get two shots against them tomorrow.
- Home plate umpires. Strike zones. Human error. Robots. I’m sure you can connect the dots.
Former Brave Of The Day:
Kolby Allard made his second start of the season for the Rangers tonight and tossed five innings of two-hit shutout baseball. He even struck out Mike Trout twice, and that alone might qualify him for a place in Cooperstown one day the way Trout has been swinging the bat this week.
Quote Of The Game:
“No, no, no! Nothing happens!”
– George Costanza
The Braves have 11 hits in three games since Tuesday. Getting 11 tomorrow across 14 innings would give them a good chance to win one or both games.