This week has been another in the long line of examples of why if you think you have baseball figured out, you don’t. Coming into this week, the Braves had three against Colorado and the Mets had three against Los Angeles. With the Braves about to go out west and the Mets sporting a schedule over the next couple weeks that can fairly be described as buttery soft, it seemed as though sweeping the Rockies and hoping the Dodgers took the series from the Mets was possibly the last best way of keeping close enough to give ourselves a good chance of catching them. That didn’t happen, with the Mets taking the series from the Dodgers and us taking the series from Colorado, but dropping a game. So what immediately happens? Why of course the freaking Washington Nationals blow out the Mets on consecutive days and suddenly we’re just a game back.
In terms of today’s Braves game, it was a tight one over the first several innings. The Braves couldn’t get a whole lot going over that time, but they did get a run in the third when they strung a Rosario single, an Acuna automatic double and a Dansby sacrifice fly together. They doubled their lead in the fourth when Marcell Ozuna just barely cleared the right-field wall with an opposite field homer, making it 2-0.
As rain encroached on the ballpark and the forecast was not good, the top of the fifth was a race to get the game official. Max Fried walked the leadoff hitter, but struck out the next guy and then, as the rain started to fall, got an inning-ending double play to make it through five without allowing a hit. He struck out six, as well. For awhile, it looked as though that would be that, which sparked a discussion on here as to Fried and the “no-hittter.” I’m kind of glad that didn’t pan out, because I would’ve come on here serving as the proverbial wet blanket. A five-inning “no-hitter” is not a thing IMO. Unless, of course, you always celebrate when somebody makes it through their first five innings without allowing a hit.
No matter, the skies cleared for long enough to give it a go. Unfortunately, Fried was done after the two-hour rain delay. The Braves offense showed back up focused and ready to finish the Marlins off. They scored two in the sixth to take a 4-0 lead, Michael Harris driving home Matt Olson and Travis d’Arnaud scoring on a wild pitch. They completely broke it open in the eighth en route to a 7-1 win, as Harris singled home Olson again and Acuna drove in d’Arnaud and Harris with another single.
So now we head into this week down only a game to the Mets. New York is playing the wretched Pittsburgh Pirates next, so we should thank our lucky stars if they lose just one game. However, our Braves get a couple in Oakland (who’s also terrible) before the schedule picks up a bit later in the week with trips to Seattle and San Francisco.