Braves Lose to Phillies and MLB Replay in Series Finale

Kelly Sullivan
Atlanta Braves outfielder Ronald Acuna hits a 6th inning double during the rout. Mandatory Credit: Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports
Atlanta Braves outfielder Ronald Acuna hits a 6th inning double during the rout. Mandatory Credit: Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports /

Drew Smyly and Matt Moore locked horns in the final game of a three-game set between the Atlanta Braves and the Philadelphia Phillies on Sunday night. 

The Atlanta Braves were looking to complete the sweep of Philadelphia and push their record above .500 for the first time this season with a fifth straight win.

The Phillies went quietly in the top of the first, but the Braves did not do the same in their half of the frame.

Ronald Acuna led off and wasted no time setting the tone for his team by beating out what seemed to be a routine grounder for an infield hit. Ozzie Albies took the next pitch that Moore threw out of the park and the Braves were off and running with a 2-0 lead.

Smyly ran into trouble in the 4th. Rhys Hoskins led off the frame with a solo home run that cut the Braves lead to 3-2. After retiring Bryce Harper and J.T. Realmuto, Alec Bohm and Jean Segura delivered back-to-back singles ahead of Didi Gregorius’s go-ahead home run that put the Phillies up 5-3.

The Braves would scratch back into the game, tying it at 5 on a Freddie Freeman solo home run in the bottom of the 5th. Not long after Bryce Harper untied it with a solo shot of his own in the top of the 6th off of Nate Jones.

The Phillies lead wouldn’t last long as the white-hot Ronald Acuna did Ronald Acuna things in the bottom of the 7th. Acuna tagged his 4th home run of the year by sending Sam Coonrod’s 1-2 pitch deep into the night in straightaway centerfield.

The game was once again tied with momentum seemingly in the Braves corner heading into the 8th.

We headed into the 9th still tied at 6 and Will Smith coming into the game to take the mound. After giving up a leadoff double to Alec Bohm, Jean Segura grounded out to Ozzie Albies, advancing Bohm to 3rd base.

Smith was able to get the next hitter, Didi Gregorius, to fly out to shallow left. Bohm would tag up and would be called safe at the plate.

Replay after replay seemed to confirm that Bohm never touched the plate, yet somehow after review in New York, the safe call stood.

I am not sure if this was just a botched call by both the home plate umpire and New York, or if I missed the rule change that you no longer have to touch home plate to score a run. Either way, this play was the deciding factor in this game as Hector Neris closed the door on the Braves in the bottom of the 9th and the Phillies salvaged the final game of the three-game set.

While it would have been nice to run this win streak to 5 games there is still a silver lining. The Braves have won their last two series against divisional opponents and their contact was much better in this series as they had no more than 6 strikeouts in any game (not including pitchers at-bats).

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The Braves will look to get back in the win column on Monday as they welcome the 2-6 Miami Marlins to town in the opener of a scheduled 4 game set.