Braves Bludgeon Cardinals 9-1

Well, I’m never going to complain about that. The Atlanta Braves dominated the St. Louis Cardinals at Truist Park, winning 9-1 in the second game of the four-game series. In some ways, it’s very comforting. 

In a lot of ways, the Cardinals are the closest thing to the Braves in the rest of baseball. Both teams made the postseason in each of the last two years, had huge expectations going into this year, have been hit by the injury bug and have had serious issues with their starting pitching. All of it has led to both teams looking up at multiple teams in the standings while straddling the .500 line. 

It sounds crazy given the rivalry that has developed between the teams, but right now they’re us and we’re them. And those similarities just makes it all the better that the Braves have beaten them two nights in a row. Even if things aren’t going according to plan for us, they’re definitely not going to plan in St. Louis and the Braves are making it even worse for the Cardinals. 

Hopefully it continues the next two nights. 

Positives: 

  • Vintage Max Fried. Seven innings, two hits, and he had everything working. Easily his best start of the season and he carved up a talented (albeit struggling) St. Louis lineup for it. That’s the version of Fried the Braves are going to need every fifth day. 
  • It was so satisfying to see the Braves put a game away early. No bullpen shenanigans, no worries about bullpen shenanigans, just 9-1 after four innings and nothing more to it than that. They’ve needed a win like that for a few weeks now. 
  • Ozzie Albies: Hotter than your steering wheel after you couldn’t find a parking spot in the shade. Three more hits and three more RBIs for the scorching Albies tonight. 
  • I really like that even after Ronald Acuña Jr. got thrown out stealing in the first inning, the Braves still rallied to score with two outs and nobody on. That felt like an early moment in the game where Carlos Martinez was rattled, and it meant Fried never had to throw a pitch from behind tonight. 
  • Good for William Contreras getting back on the home run train with his second inning shot. He called a beautiful game from behind the plate, and he did it on one knee for good measure! 
  • Abraham Almonte looks more than adequate in left field. Maybe it’s just an early hot streak like Heredia had before some regression to the mean, but the Braves are getting actual offensive value out of their left field position right now.
  •  Acuña 40/40 tracker: 18/15 with 95 games to go. It’s possible, y’all.
  • Edgar Santana and Jacob Webb got back on the beam with scoreless low-leverage innings. Don’t laugh, it’s something! 
  • The Braves have now outscored the Cardinals 13-1 in this series, which I am enjoying immensely more than the last time the Braves and Cardinals played to a 13-1 score.

Negatives: 

  • Neither one caused any damage, but I’m still really tired of watching. Acuña get hit by pitches. Two more tonight brings his season total to seven and his career total to 28 including the postseason. For context, Chipper Jones was only hit by a pitch 19 times in his entire career.

Former Brave Of The Day: 

We’re digging way, way into the bottom of the barrel of random old Braves tonight. Former third catcher René Rivera had three hits and three RBIs for Cleveland tonight, although he was on the losing end of a wild 11-10 game against the Pirates at PNC Park.

Quote Of The Game: 

 “There’s nothing to it. Baseball isn’t that tough to play.”

 – Red Schoendienst

Tomorrow’s Goal:

The Braves have gotten good bullpen work on back-to-back days in games that weren’t particularly close. Can they finally get some clutch relief work in a tight game if the situation arises? Maybe? Hopefully???

26 thoughts on “Braves Bludgeon Cardinals 9-1”

  1. Thanks Alan, you have a good format and insight.

    I have some new thinking on LF.

    Old: We need someone to hit like we thought Ozuna was going to.
    New: Maybe we just need someone to hit better than Ozuna actually did.

  2. The Braves have now outscored the Cardinals 13-1 in this series, which I am enjoying immensely more than the last time the Braves and Cardinals played to a 13-1 score.

    Well played, Alan.

  3. Game likely to not happen tonight. Tomorrow is only saved because it’s a night game. Braves have a double header Monday so no chance they’ll do 2 tomorrow.

    Spencer Strider is really exciting.

  4. Has the word bludgeon appeared in a recap title before? Seems like a first to me. Couldn’t be happier that it came against the Cardinals.

  5. Of course I am happy the Braves have played so well these last two games.
    The end of next week will reveal how much joy I have.
    I am not a Hawks fan, but would like to see them beat the 76er’s.

  6. Dang, 4 games in 2 days. That’s going to be brutal, especially against two different teams, so neither the Cards nor the Mets will be as exhausted as the Braves will be.

  7. On the bright side, seven inning games ought to be a positive for a team with our bullpen. On the other hand, who are the four starters for the next two days?

  8. I’m guessing Bryse gets a start tomorrow and Muller Monday. I cannot believe MLB is allowing back to back double headers.

    What’s the most interesting part will be the 27th man. Can Jacob Webb be the 27th man for both double headers if Braves call up Bryse tomorrow and Muller on Monday?

  9. Webb is already on the roster. I have to believe that Bryse will be the 27th man tomorrow and Muller on Monday.

  10. Well, they just optioned Webb back, so maybe you’re right Ryan.

    It would appear we need a starter Tuesday as well and I think Kyle Wright would be on normal rest.

  11. Charlie Morton will be on normal rest on

    Webb will likely be the 27th man. Then the Braves will recall a fresh arm on Tuesday and send Muller back to AAA after he takes the place of Bryse.

    I love this stuff!

  12. Yeah you’re right I miscounted. We would need another starter Thursday, then. Smyly and Wilson would both be on 3 days rest.

    Webb has been better than Santana. I wonder why he drew the short straw.

  13. It’s also possible that since Morton threw 112 pitches Thursday, that they could push him and Fried him back a day and call up Wright for Tuesday. Then Smyly (and Anderson) are on normal rest for next turns.

  14. Whatever happens, it’s going to be a weird shuffle for sure. If Tucker D checks out, he could technically be back on Friday or Saturday.

  15. Someone help me with the logic on Webb. We get to add a 27th guy Sunday and Monday, so we sent one down today? I understand we are adding a starting pitcher each day, but why do we need to send one down to do that?

  16. @18
    First off, some info I didn’t know about…

    Here’s a weird guess.

    1st DH: Bryse added to 26-man & Webb is 27th man (option rules don’t apply). Bryse will stay up to make 2 starts.

    2nd DH: Muller becomes 27th man goes down after game.

    Point being. I think Webb was optioned because Braves need Bryse twice.

  17. Interesting. Seems like Bryse could just pitch the 2nd game today as the 27th man, then get recalled when we need him for the second start instead of carrying him around for 4 days.

    But, if the Braves spent as much time looking for 4 starters we could count on for 6 innings as they do manipulating the last spot on the roster, the bullpen would only have to cover 4 innings the next 2 days, solving many problems at once.

  18. @8 I don’t mind, Rob. Regular rest didn’t really work out too well for them this season. Maybe this will actually work better. Double double-header sweep coming up! Go Braves.

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