The Atlanta Braves offense explodes for twenty runs to defeat the Pittsburgh Pirates and even up the series!
That was fun. Instead of raising the Jolly Roger, the Atlanta Braves forced the Pirates to waive the white flag.
Anderson was magnificent tonight, pitching six innings, allowing only six hits, zero walks, no runs, and striking out six. His dominant performance meant the Braves only needed to get him one run (I know — the Pirates scored in the 9th).
The offense decided to get him a little more.
It is probably easiest to just list the offensive output because of how much offense there was tonight.
Atlanta Braves Score 20
- 1st inning- Ozzie Albies doubles home Ronald Acuña Jr. 1-0.
- 2nd inning- Acuña hits a grand slam. Dansby Swanson, Kevan Smith, and Guillermo Heredia all score. 5-0.
- 4th inning – Acuña brings home Heredia with a sacrifice fly. This is Acuña’s 5th RBI through just four innings. 6-0.
- 5th inning – Albies hits a home run to left center, Marcell Ozuna scores. Austin Riley hits a home run on the very next pitch. 9-0.
- 6th inning – Ozuna hits a home run to left. Braves lead 10-0.
- 7th inning – Riley hits his second home run of the night. Swanson follows him with a home run of his own. The Braves go back-to-back for the second time and now lead 12-0.
Then the big inning:
- 8th inning – Riley hits a sacrifice fly to score Freddie Freeman. Smith singles home Ozuna. Heredia singles home Albies. Ehire Adrianza disrespects the game of baseball with a grand slam off of a position player. Ozuna doubles home Freeman. Braves lead 20-0.
Shiver me timbers, that was an offensive explosion from the Braves! Yes, eight of the runs came off of a position player in the eighth, but they count just the same. Maybe that gets the offense going.
Ian Anderson with another solid night. The young pitcher has been a blessing for the Braves over the last calendar year. Even when he does not have his best stuff, he always seems to give the team a shot to win. When he has his best stuff, he puts up a performance like he did tonight.
Anderson lowered his ERA to 2.82. This comes with a 3.31 FIP and 3.28 xFIP which means it has been legit. No smoke and mirrors with Anderson. If he contains the walks, he could have a great career.
The Pirates did score a run in the 9th inning off of Jacob Webb. Will Craig singled home Erik González to prevent the Pirates from being shut out.
Austin Riley has been impressive over the last few weeks but was missing the power that Braves fans knew he had.
Over the last week, it has started to show, and it really came through tonight with two home runs. His wOBA sits at .397 and wRC+ is 151 which is 2nd in baseball among MLB third basemen, trailing only Kris Bryant.
Marcell Ozuna showed some signs of life tonight, which was welcome as The Big Bear was hitting .201/.276/.322 .269 wOBA, and a 67 wRC+ coming into tonight’s game.
It still is not pretty, .212/.288/.358, .287 wOBA, and a 79 wRC+, but it is a step in the right direction. His expected stats (below) show that Ozuna may be close to breaking through.
- .258 xBA
- .444 xSLG
- .335 xwOBA
Those are not elite numbers, but they do suggest that Ozuna will, most likely, get better in the near future. That would be a big boost to the Braves lineup if Ozuna can get hot.
The 20-1 victory gets the Braves to even in the run-differential category. Only five teams have outscored the Braves so far, so it shows the offense has been fine this season… well, with the occasional outburst like this. The pitching has been what held the Braves back overall.
Also, there’s this:
Hopefully, this is the moment the Braves needed to finally turn things around. We have said that a few times in 2021 though. Maybe this is actually the one that gets them going.
The Braves did release the news that Shane Greene will head to Gwinnett soon to get some work. He will need a few appearances to get up to speed and could join the Braves in the coming weeks.
In the meanwhile, the Braves will face the Pirates again tomorrow afternoon. The Pirates will send up their young right-hander, Mitch Keller, while the Braves currently have not announced a starter for the game. Most are anticipating it will be Bryse Wilson.
No matter who the pitcher is, let us hope the offense can give a similar level of support tomorrow to push the series to 2-1 in their favor!