On Sunday, the Braves beat the Nationals in extra innings to take two out of three games from their NL East rival. Another series win was what the Braves were looking for at the start of their long road trip, but there were also lows on the road trip. Let’s get into some of what went on over the weekend.
The Braves Extend NL East Lead Over Phillies To 6.5
The Phillies are playing their worst baseball of the season, losing seven straight after getting swept by Miami, the cellar dweller of the NL East. On the flip side, the Braves are playing their best baseball of the season at the moment. The lead the Braves have set out to is not a runaway but the Braves burying the Phillies and Nationals as deep as they can is not a bad thing, no matter what time of the season it’s happening. The Braves will play the Phillies back at home after their road trip is over.
Braves Pitchers Had A Rough Weekend
Mike Foltynewicz had another bad outing on Saturday night, going 4 innings and giving up 8 earned runs, moving his ERA over 6. The Braves optioned Folty back to AAA the next day so he can work on some of the kinks he’s been struggling with. This is the right move by the Braves to try to get their All-Star caliber pitcher back to his old form. I expect Folty to miss his next start so that means Kevin Gausman or Sean Newcomb could be slotted back into the rotation while Folty is in Gwinnett. Newcomb seems like the right choice for the start, but that’s yet to be determined at this point.
On Sunday, the Braves starting rotation was dealt another blow. Mike Soroka, the Braves best pitcher of the season, was on the mound. After pitching two innings of one-hit baseball, Soroka was up to bat when he was hit in his right forearm with a fastball. It was a scary shot and the Braves pulled him out of the game when the inning ended. Mark Bowman, of the MLB.com, reported the X-rays were negative and Soroka would be ready for his next scheduled start. Great news for Soroka and the Braves in a situation that could have been devasting.
Braves Offense Still Rolling
Atlanta’s offense has been putting up huge numbers, and this weekend was more of the same. The Nationals did a good job of holding the Braves offense to four runs in two of the games. On Saturday, the Braves fought out of a big hole and put up 13 runs in the process. The best cure for bad pitching is potent offense, and the Braves have been stepping up for their faulty pitching.
The best thing about this Braves offense is how deep they are. Ronald Acuna, one of the Braves hottest players coming into the series, went 2-14 over the three-game series. When one guy like Acuna is down guys like Freddie Freeman and Dansby Swanson are there to pick up the slack. Even bench players are showing up with big-time contributions, Johan Camargo hit the two-run game-winning home run on Sunday’s game. No matter where it comes from, the Braves continue to find offense.