Look out, the Atlanta Braves are hot. They have now won four and a row are only one game out of first place in the NL East.
The Atlanta Braves have looked like a different team over the past week. They finally got over the hurdle of alternating wins and losses and are chasing down the top of the NL East.
Kyle Muller took the mound for the Braves, and while he was not his sharpest self, he pitched well enough to keep the Braves in the game. He only went 4.2 innings, but he kept the Nationals to three runs. If Muller can give the Braves around five solid innings every five days, then he will have a shot to remain in the rotation for the rest of the year.
The bullpen was phenomenal tonight. Edgar Santana, Chris Martin, Luke Jackson, Tyler Matzek, and Jesse Chavez combined to give the Braves 4.1 innings of one run baseball. The one run was given up by Chavez in the ninth.
Thankfully, the Braves offense would score more than four runs. The offense has been hot and that carried over into tonight’s game.
The Braves would fight back from a 3-2 deficit in the fifth thanks to a single from Austin Riley that scored Soler. Dansby Swanson would then give the Braves a 4-3 lead with an infield single that scored Freeman. Finally, Duvall’s double would score Riley to give the team a 5-3 lead.
The Braves added on in the eight thanks to a two-run single from Freeman that scored Ehire Adrianza and Stephen Vogt. They would score their eighth and final run thanks to a sacrifice fly from Riley to bring home Ozzie Albies.
Kyle Muller was not the sharpest tonight, but still has a 2.88 ERA on the season which is supported by a 3.10 FIP. His xFIP of 4.69 is worrisome, but overall Muller looks like he belongs in a major league rotation at the moment. We may just have to deal with some growing pains over the remainder of the season.
Austin Riley’s breakout continues. He is now up to a .294/.373/.523 twenty-three home runs, fifty-nine runs, sixty-seven RBIs, a .380 wOBA, and a 136 wRC+. Since the beginning of July, he is hitting .321/.409/.661 ten home runs, nineteen runs, twenty-eight RBIs, a .443 wOBA, and a 177 wRC+.
It feels like since the Braves acquired the new guys, Joc Pederson, Stephen Vogt, Adam Duvall, Jorge Soler, and Richard Rodríguez, there has been a different feel around this team. The other addition, Eddie Rosario, should be joining the team over the next few weeks, and maybe he will bring even more energy to this team.
The Braves are in an advantageous position for the final two games of the weekend. They will send out Charlie Morton and Max Fried against the Nationals who look like a completely different team after their fire sale at the trade deadline. They need to win at least one of these two games, but a sweep would be a wonderful thing to continue this positive momentum.
Morton will take on one of the Nationals newest pitchers, Josiah Gray, a top prospect formerly of the Dodgers organization. Hopefully, the veteran outpitches the young gun.