Atlanta Braves suffer heartbreaking loss in extra innings
The Atlanta Braves took to the field Thursday afternoon looking to win the final game of their series with the Phillies.
Fans were treated to a great pitching match-up Thursday afternoon as the Atlanta Braves and Philadelphia Phillies squared off in a rubber match.
Ian Anderson took the mound for Atlanta and opposed Zach Wheeler, who has been a great pick-up for Philadelphia.
Both pitchers kept the game scoreless through 7 innings and this game came down to a battle of the bullpens.
Anderson had a relatively rough first inning as he had to labor a bit to get through it.
However, he settled in very quickly after that to pitch seven scoreless innings allowing just 4 hits and striking out 4 with just one walk issued. He looked absolutely phenomenal the rest of the game.
His ERA now sits at 3.26 across 66.1 innings pitched.
Ian was relieved by A.J. Minter in the top of the eighth inning and unfortunately, he allowed the Phillies to score the go-ahead run.
It looked bleak for Atlanta as the offense struggled to cash in any runs through 8 innings but Freddie Freeman came through with a solo homer just over the head of Odubel Herrera to tie the game in the top of the ninth.
Luke Jackson held the Phillies at bay in the bottom of the ninth to send us to extra innings as his good work continues on the mound for Atlanta.
Jackson now has a 1.19 ERA through 22.2 innings pitched with 20 strikeouts. I know he’s had a bad inning here and there but overall he’s been a fairly stable piece of a struggling pen.
The Braves continued to put pressure on the Phillies as they were gifted two runs in the top of the tenth inning.
Swanson started the inning on second base as part of the extra-innings rule implemented by MLB.
Guillermo Heredia would walk to give the Braves runners on the corners. Abraham Almonte advanced Swanson to third on a groundout to the shortstop.
Dansby would then score the go-ahead run on a wild pitch. Kevan Smith would follow this by drawing yet another walk with just one out in the inning.
William Contreras pinch-hit for Luke Jackson but couldn’t come through as he struck out for the second out of the inning.
Ronald Acuña Jr. was up next and drew a walk to load up the bases.
Heredia would score soon after thanks to a passed ball by Phillies catcher Rafael Marchan.
Freddie Freeman came to the plate after this with an opportunity to blow the game wide open for Atlanta.
It felt like the Braves needed as many runs as possible with how suspect the bullpen has been in close games.
However, it was not to be as Freeman grounded out to first base to end the inning.
The stage was now set for Chris Martin to close the game out and get Atlanta back to a winning record.
Unluckily for Martin and Braves fans, the outcome was not a positive one. Chris allowed 3 consecutive hits as the Phillies walk off the Braves for a second straight day.
He allowed Bohm and Herrera to reach base. Both batters reached on a 2-strike count. Bohm had an 0-2 count and Herrera a 3-2 count.
Jean Segura drove the dagger into the hearts of Braves fans everywhere as he hit a walk-off two-run single as Atlanta falls two games under .500 and continues to struggle to find an answer to their struggling bullpen.
It seems Atlanta just cannot find the consistency to keep a winning record. The bullpen continues to be a major issue but the offense not capitalizing with runners on base is hurting them as well.
There were 16 runners left on base during today’s game and that’s not a good recipe for success. 44 runners were left on base during this entire series with Philadelphia.
This is also the tenth time this year that the Braves have lost a 1-run game.
The lack of consistency across the board will continue to keep the Braves hovering around the .500 mark and we need them to do better.
It’s a shame that Ian Anderson’s great start was wasted like that. Unfortunately, that’s just how baseball goes.
Alex Anthopolous has his work cut out for him as the team has some needs to be addressed before it’s too late.
Atlanta will head to Miami next as they hope to get things trending in the right direction.