Albies homers from both sides of the plate in 6-1 win over Pirates

It’s always a fun night when the game-winning run scores in the first inning. That was just a nice, calm Saturday afternoon baseball game. The Braves got a run on the first pitch they saw courtesy of Ronald Acuña Jr.’s 22nd career lead-off home run, added another run in the first inning and coasted behind Bryse Wilson to a 6-1 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates.

That was the kind of game you could just sit outside on the porch and chill out to while listening on the radio. It wasn’t like last night where you needed to see the 20-run onslaught with your own eyes or most other games where it’s stressful and you want to see it. 

There are 116 games left this season and I’m sure a lot of them will be tense. But today? Today was just a day of tranquility. 

Positives:

  • I don’t know why starting pitchers continue to throw get-me-over fastballs to Ronald Acuña Jr., but I’m not complaining. Not only was it his 22nd career lead-off homer, but it was the eighth that game on the first pitch he saw. I don’t think you can even call these swings first pitch ambushes anymore with how often he does it. At this point it’s a part of his game, and pitchers have to adjust. Or they won’t. I would prefer it if they choose not to. 
  • Bryse Wilson had the longest outing of his career today, and I don’t think you can even say it was just because he was facing Pittsburgh. Wilson’s last two starts were against the Diamondbacks and a Cubs lineup that was really struggling at the time, and both of those offenses took care of him very easily. Every start is a learning experience for a young pitcher; today he did a good job of getting soft contact with his changeup instead of just relying on his fastball the way he has in the past. 
  • Everything is trending in the right direction for Ozzie Albies. One of the weirdest part of the first two months of this season has been the random disappearance of Ozzie’s right-handed swing, but he’s picked up RBI hits with it in consecutive games this series. That’s his bread and butter, and the bread is finally getting buttered again. Oh, he added a left-handed homer and a great catch in the ninth for good measure. 
  • You weren’t worried about Freddie Freeman, but he got on base four more times today with two hits and two walks. Again, you’re smart enough to know there was no reason to worry, but it was still nice to see.
  • Ender Inciarte picked up a hit and scored a run! Maybe the Pirates really are a Triple-A team.
  • Two days in a row without a bullpen problem. Will Smith and Chris Martin have also been out of action two days in a row and should both be available tomorrow should the situation present itself. 

Negatives: 

  • Between Jacob Webb actually hitting Kevin Pillar in the face on Monday and Mitch Keller coming within a whisker of doing it to Bryse Wilson tonight, I’ve seen enough action around the head this week to last a season. Or a lifetime. 
  • Sooooo Marcell Ozuna. He is having by far the worst season of his career and is badly underperforming even his career averages. Compared to his career averages, his batting average is 61 points lower, his on-base percentage is 45 points lower, his slugging percentage is 103 points lower, his OPS is 148 points lower and his wRC+ is 36 points lower. He looks out in front of every off-speed pitch; Mitch Keller threw him the exact same slider three times in his first-inning at-bat and got three swings and misses. I don’t know what the solution is, but something is clearly broken there.

Former Brave Of The Day: 

Kolby Allard entered the game in Texas today with the Rangers trailing the Astros 4-3,  threw 1 ⅓ innings of scoreless relief, and ended up with a win after his offense came from behind.

Quote Of The Game: 

“We won a game yesterday. If we win today, that’s two in a row. If we win tomorrow, that’s called a winning streak. It has happened before.”

— Lou Brown, Major League II

Tomorrow’s Goal: 

Get the Big Bear going. Tomorrow’s Pittsburgh starter JT Brubaker is a heavy slider pitcher, so Ozuna managing to turn a couple of those around for hits would be a good start towards waking his bat up.

48 thoughts on “Albies homers from both sides of the plate in 6-1 win over Pirates”

  1. Interesting pick up of Lopez. I never heard of Estrada as much of a prospect and Lopez had a decent year in 2019. As long as he doesn’t turn into Albie Lopez we should be okay.

  2. I was at the game today. Sold out. Alumni weekend, so lots of former players walking around. Gerald Perry looks 85 years old now.

  3. @1 Of course, the lead in that story was buried. Lopez still has three options remaining. He was bought to ride the shuttle. The D’Backs paid him an $8M bonus and the Braves are likely paying the league minimum.

    Now the 40-man is full. They basically have one roster slot to play with (they could put Huascar on the 60-day IL). After that, players will need to be dropped. With Arcia and Greene both on the 40-man already, I don’t see much risk at this point.

  4. @4 Considering the glaring need, I think it’s smart for the Braves to fill the remainder of the 40-man with right handed relievers. See which one shakes out.

    So Bryse is definitely the 5th starter. After the gut-wrenching Soroka/Ynoa news in back-to-back days, it’s been nice to see the team sort out some of its issues.

  5. Sorry if this is old news, but it appears Kolby Allard is officially a reliever, a middle reliever right now. He’s pitched 20 innings in 10 appearances, and his last 8 appearances have been multi-inning. Mostly a mop-up guy, but he got in the game in the 7th yesterday and earned a win. Good for him, bad for us that this is what became of a first round pick.

  6. @rob

    Something must’ve happened to Kolby in instructs after drafted as he never lived up to his 95-97 MPH velo.

  7. Yeah, sorry, I wasn’t saying it was a wasted pick. Just that it was a risk that didn’t work out for us.

  8. He was high-risk, high-reward, if I recall. Wasn’t he one of the many, many pitcher prospects we targeted with an injury history? I think he had a bad back going back to his prep days.

    Some of those post-injury guys work out, like Max Fried. As it happened, we flipped Allard for an effective high-leverage reliever. Overall, I’d say the strategy worked.

  9. [Rant] Chip going on and on about how the Pirates can win games by going the other way and ‘doing the little things’ until ‘they get enough good players’ is, to put it even-handedly, stupid. Sure they can win games that way: 70 or so a year. Chip does the following things simultaneously: (1) bemoan the ‘three true outcome game’; (2) celebrate, passionately, walks and homers picked up by the Braves and strikeouts by Braves pitchers; (3) complain that strategy has left the game; and (4) wants to outlaw, or at least substantially modify, defensive shifting. (1) directly contradicts (2), and (3) directly contradicts (4). And no amount of hoping that Pirates dribblers through abandoned infield positions will transform the game in the way he wants will do anything to make it happen [/Rant]

  10. I find Chipper more annoying this year than before. I get it, he needs to fill empty space with words but he is saying the same stuff in every freaking game. I liked Frenchy before but I think Chip is dragging him down with him. Free Birdy!

  11. Just watched Leo from last night. Have you ever heard about what he said… back then they timed the pitch crossing the plate and now they time it coming out of the pitchers’ hands. He said he is always substracting 5 today to compare the pitch speed to the 90s. Wohlers would have thrown 100 back timed coming out of the pitcher’s hand. Fascinating. Never heard that before. Is he correct?

  12. Chip with an incredibly useless nugget: The Pirates have not lost a game where they went ahead 2-0 this year. Clearly we should just walk off the field here if we give up the second run…or let the other baserunner come all the way around to score on the same play to give ourselves a chance.

  13. So who’s the MVP if Riley ends up with a higher OBP and OPS than Acuna and Freddie?

  14. There was a preseason article on fangraphs saying how Austin Riley was poised for a breakout year.

    He took a while to get going, but it seems he’s done it!

  15. Holy crap, prime Troy Glaus is still on the table for Riley

    The surprising thing if this is just a hot streak, is how long it has gone on since his newfound plate discipline.

  16. If this pitcher wants to keep screwing around with two outs and needlessly bringing Riley to the plate with a chance to do damage, I’m all for it.

  17. In contention? Sure. But I think at the moment he’s still a bit behind Tatis, Muncy and… surprisingly, Ian Happ. Oh, and Brandon Crawford, who’s got 7 homers so far in May.

  18. Riley is now 3rd in the NL in WAR amongst 3B. I would think he has an outside shot at being a NL All-Star reserve if he doesn’t crater. In my humble opinion, that is nominally acceptable for a AAAA hitter.

  19. There is an outside chance that Riley will pass Acuña in OPS today, lol.

    That is insane considering the start of the season that each of them had.

  20. So, as of the beginning of the 6th, everyone (including Max) has an OPS over .800 except Ozuna and Dansby. And Max’s ERA is under 5.00 now.

  21. This is exactly the kind of game again, Alan was writing about in yesterday’s recap. So relaxing and pleasant to watch.

  22. @40: As I said on Thursday: If you can’t get well against the Pirates, you can’t get well.

  23. @39 nope.
    7-1 game, better use chris martin…..
    Wtf
    Can’t use when tied or losing by one, better use him now.

  24. This is just so brilliant by Snitker. Take out Fried when he had at least another inning in him and waste appearances by Martin and probably Smith in a 6-run game. Because “gotta get them work,” but as Carl said, Can’t use them in a game we’re losing! What, do you want their arms to fall off?

  25. @43 I suppose there’s worse things in life than your best reliever needing work.

  26. So, friends, is it mental or physical with Riley? It’s possible the fella can turn around any type of pitch, fastball or otherwise. So, is Riley an All-Star or a wildly inconsistent player?

  27. A Patty Melt Plate with Onions & Double Hashbrowns from Waffle House. After a night of adult beverages.

    That’s what the Pirates were to the Braves this weekend.

    Ahhhh. Let’s enjoy these last 3 games.

  28. So I think Bill Edwards, the 64 year Braves fan/ Russian bot and editor of the Palm Coast Tribune has lit a fire under the offense. We have outscored our opponents 33 to 3 since he started posting.

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