This can’t be Wright.
Kyle Wright outbattled Max Scherzer as the Braves take the series 3 games to 1, and drop the Nationals to 17 – 28. The Braves move to 28 – 19 and take a 3.5 game lead in the NL East over the Marlins, who swept the Phillies in a doubleheader.
The Braves suckered Scherzer into throwing 104 pitches through 5 innings, in part by striking out 10 times. Scherzer showed signs of cracking after Travis d’Arnaud flied out to the right field wall to end the 5th, and after Dansby Swanson was robbed at the left field wall by Juan Soto to lead off the 6th, the floodgates finally opened. Nick Markakis singled and Adam Duvall homered to tie the game at 4; Austin Riley and Ozzie Albies duplicated the feat to put the Braves ahead for good.
Wright went 6 innings, allowing 8 hits and 4 runs (3 earned,) while walking only 2 and striking out 4, and picked up his 1st major league win in 8 decisions. Let’s not kid ourselves about Wright; you are what your line says you are and Kyle was far from great. But he did have a bit of bad luck, with a broken bat single and a couple of bunt hits among the total. For someone coming in with an ERA north of 8, a WHIP over 2, and almost a walk per inning, let’s instead use the word “encouraging.”
Doubles by Freddie Freeman and d’Arnaud in the top of the 1st gave the Braves a 1 – 0 lead, but Asdrubal Cabrera homered in the 2nd to tie it. Markakis drove in d’Arnaud with the 2nd run in the 4th. The Nationals tied the game in the 4th when Soto doubled, took 3rd on a Cabrera fly out, and outran an Albies throw home on an Eric Thames grounder, despite the infield playing in. Wright then caught a break when a backpedaling Freddie could not corral a bloop pop up, but was able to force Thames at 2nd and see Kurt Suzuki caught attempting to advance to 3rd to complete an unusual double play.
Wright’s luck changed for the worse in the 5th when a Victor Robles broken bat single and an Adam Eaton bunt single followed a Luis Garcia leadoff single. Wright then coaxed a double play ball, but Freeman botched Albies’ wide throw down the base line and the ball kicked into the dugout, allowing a 2nd run to score in addition to the conceded one. However, Wright continued to battle, and earned a 6th inning by inducing another double play ball, this time successful.