On Thursday night, it was clear the Braves thought they were still in Minnesota instead of being in Miami to start their series with the Marlins. The Marlins shellacked the Braves 9-2 to take the series opener.
Dallas Keuchel was on the mound for the Braves in the opener with the Miami Marlins. Keuchel, historically speaking, is a ground-ball pitcher, which would sound perfect when pitching in Miami. However, last night the Marlins came ready to play. Keuchel got hit hard, giving up 10 hits and 8 runs in just 3.2 innings.
It wasn’t just the Braves pitched that faltered the Braves. The offense went ice cold after scoring 23 runs in their last two games coming into Thursday’s game. After that offensive explosion, the Braves managed to score two runs late in the game when the result was already decided. What’s even more troubling for the Braves was the bottom of the lineup. The 5-8 hitters, Brian McCann, Adam Duvall, Ender Inciarte, and Charlie Culberson, went a combined 0-13 in Thursday’s game.
One positive note from Thursday’s game was Ozzie Albies and Ronald Acuna Jr. They were the only productive players in the lineup for the Braves. Albies hit another triple, taking his season total up to 7. Acuna blasted another home run, taking his total up to 30 for the season. The 40-40 season is a real possibility for Acuna at this point of the season. Even with all the struggles, the Braves had on offense, the team can still depend on their two young stars to produce for them.
Yes, it was a loss in August to the Marlins so in the grand scheme of the entire season, it might not seem like a significant loss. However, with the Nationals, Phillies, and Mets still pushing hard up the NL East ladder, the Braves will have to avoid any further slip-ups. In a four-game set, the Braves can turn this series around quickly. It’s going to take a big effort tonight to right the ship.
Other Braves Notes:
Austin Riley went on the 10-day IL for a partially torn LCL in his knee. The report is the injury was sustained in the weight room. He is also planning to see Dr. James Andrews.
Jeremy Walker has been called up from AAA to replace Riley on the roster. Walker is another bullpen arm for the Braves that have been struggling to find anything from their bullpen recently. The Braves will get a shot at redimption tonight when Julio Teheran pitches in the second game tonight. First pitch will be at 7:10.