The Braves escaped Miami with a split of their four-game series with the Marlins. What could have been a disaster of a series, the Braves were able to get out of Miami with their NL East safe and secure.
Getting two of the four games from this Miami series is a victory for the Braves. That can be viewed as a positive or a negative. The Braves could have easily left Miami winning three out of four if things would have gone different on Saturday. However, the Braves could be leaving Miami losers of three out of four of the series if things would have gone differently on Sunday. In my opinion, the Braves should look at this series as a massive disappointment, considering everything that happened Saturday night, but when the NL East lead is still at 6.5 games, it’s hard to be too frustrated with the four-game series.
The Braves bullpen is a mess. There’s no other way to put it. Shane Greene, the guy the Braves traded to be their closer, has already been removed from that job after a terrible start to his Braves career. Mark Melancon, another trade acquisition, was given the job, a job he has done very well in the past. In his first night of duty, Melancon gave up a 6-2 lead in the bottom of the 9th, complicating the Braves situation even more. The Braves previous much-maligned closer, Luke Jackson, was called upon to close the game on Sunday. There is no structure to the Braves bullpen at the moment.
Moving forward will be interesting for the Braves. Shane Greene seems to be banished already, which is odd considering how much rope was given to Luke Jackson. I do expect to see Greene back in the closer’s role at some point this season. Mark Melancon said he wanted the closer’s role then proceeded to have a meltdown. I don’t think that will derail a veteran like him to the point of no return. Melancon seems to be the choice, at the moment, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see Luke Jackson trotted back out there a couple more times before the season’s over. The only thing that is known is nothing is solved about the Braves bullpen.
Good: Ronald Acuna Jr.
Ronald Acuna Jr. continued his assault of the Miami Marlins. In the four-game series, Acuna went 7-16 with three home runs and six RBI. His season total for home runs is now at 33 and his RBI total is at 80. It’s not getting much traction nationally, and I don’t think it will, but Acuna should be getting thrown into more MVP talks. Acuna’s season is just as impressive as anything Yelich or Bellinger is doing, respectively.
Acuna was able to add a couple of stolen bases in the series, too. His season total for stolen bases is at 28 now. The 30-30 season will be clinched, possibly this week. The talk of the 40-40 season is at a fever pitch now. And it’s a real possibility now. Acuna needs 8 HRs and 12 stolen bases with 43 remaining games. Acuna has a chance at history. Oh yeah, and he’s only 21.
Good: NL East Lead
The NL East lead is sitting at 6.5 games leaving Miami. With 43 games left, the Braves still have some work to do but are in great shape moving forward. The Mets and Nationals beat each other up over the weekend, which was good for the Braves. The Mets continue to surge while the Nationals are as steady as ever. The Braves have the Mets coming into Atlanta this week. The Mets are 8 games behind the Braves currently.