The Atlanta Braves gutted out an important 5-3 win Monday against the Washington Nationals, which featured promising signs in multiple different departments of this Braves ball club.
I, for one, did not know what to expect out of this Atlanta Braves team going into Monday’s game against the Washington Nationals after this unfortunate weekend… using the word ‘unfortunate‘ lightly.
To say I was pretty surprised by the performance in Monday’s game is an understatement.
Starting off my surprise was the promotion of Abraham Almonte and the immediate placement into the starting lineup. Now yes, he went 0-2, but he managed to get 2 BB’s, which I can always appreciate.
Overall, for the offense, I saw some pretty good productivity. Whether it was Dansby Swanson pushing a sacrifice fly to right field to push across the first run, William Contreras “hitting em where they ain’t” a couple times, the first of which scored the second and third runs, and of course the Ronald Acuna Jr. home run to score the fourth run. Also, Guillermo Heredia with a single in the 6th to push across that important insurance fifth run.
Something that doesn’t really get noticed very often, but was really nice to see was the amount of deep counts the players forced tonight. In particular, Ehire Adrianza‘s at-bat in the 6th in which he walked after working around 10 pitches.
But of course, a home plate umpire missed call in Acuna’s at-bat a mere 3-4 minutes later soured the potential of that inning.
In regard to the pitching, Charlie Morton did just about what I expected from a Charlie Morton start: 5 innings, 6 hits, 3 ER, 3 BB, and 6 SO. I was a bit worried as the bullpen would be called to pitch the rest of the game starting in the 6th… but wow was I presently surprised by this performance by the bullpen guys.
Luke Jackson, A.J. Minter, Chris Martin, and Will Smith all appeared in that order and only gave up one hit between the four of them, each ending their respective innings with one K each. That is very impressive and the best I’ve seen this bullpen since last season.
This was just one of those games where it seemed like all facets of this Braves roster were on point, which is a promising sign for the rest of this series against the Nationals. Like I said at the beginning, this was an important win and great for the team to possibly turn things around and look ahead to progressing as the season moves forward.
Game 2 in the series is underway… let’s hope the Braves can come back and get another win!