When the Atlanta Braves walked off the field for the 61st time in 2020, it was euphoric. Freddie Freeman had just delivered a walk-off single in game one of the wild card round against the Cincinnati Reds, putting the Braves within a win of their first playoff series victory in 19 years. It was euphoric, the kind of thing that makes you fall in love with baseball all over again.
The 61st trip off the field in 2021 was a lifeless, yet entirely predictable 4-3 loss to the Miami Marlins. This team still has not crossed over the .500 barrier at any point in 2021, and it will take at least four more games to do that with this latest setback.
Don’t count on it only being four, though. This is a slog of a summer right now, and unlike 2020 the slog is going to be much more than 60 games long.
It’s disappointing and frustrating to say, but is anyone really looking forward to watching this team another 101 times? It feels much more like a chore than the fun it has been the last three seasons, and tonight was the latest example.
- Ronald Acuña Jr. and Ozzie Albies are still really fun to watch. The dynamic duo combined for four hits and three RBIs tonight, once again proving to be among the only reasons to still turn on the television every night.
- Dansby Swanson recorded two hits in a game, something he hadn’t done in his last 16 appearances. That’s at least something for him to carry into tomorrow as he continues trying to level off his unbalanced home and road splits.
- The bullpen was really good tonight! Four shutout innings from Sean Newcomb, Shane Green, Luke Jackson and Tyler Matzek gave the offense a chance to win. Of course it didn’t matter, but good bullpen nights are too few and far between this season to not acknowledge them when they come around.
- The 4-8 starters in the lineup combined to go 2-for-19 at the plate with seven strikeouts. We know this is a shallow lineup, but that’s not going to cut it no matter what the top three hitters in your lineup produce.
- Is there anything really left to say about Charlie Morton? At this point he is who he is, and who has been worth 0.7 WAR so far this season in 13 starts. The most frustrating part of it all might be that it’s the same issue plaguing him every start; one inning per outing is sinking his chances. Tonight it was the fourth inning where he surrendered three runs that ended up deciding the game.
- 2-for-12 with RISP with 10 runners left on base. That’ll pretty much kill you in a one-run game.
- The Mets beat the Padres, so the Braves are now a season-high five games out of first place and staring down the barrel of yet another 4+ game losing streak tomorrow. Anyone having fun here?
Former Brave Of The Day:
The Twins lost 6-4 to the Astros, but Josh Donaldson hit two home runs in the game at Target Field.
Quote Of The Game:
“You are what your record says you are.”
— Bill Parcells
Get some semblance of production from the bottom half of the lineup. It would be especially nice if it could come from left or center field given the black hole those two positions have been over the last three weeks.