Atlanta Braves take game and series from Giants

ATLANTA, GEORGIA - SEPTEMBER 07: Ian Anderson #48 of the Atlanta Braves looks on during a game against the Miami Marlins at Truist Park on September 7, 2020 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images)
ATLANTA, GEORGIA - SEPTEMBER 07: Ian Anderson #48 of the Atlanta Braves looks on during a game against the Miami Marlins at Truist Park on September 7, 2020 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images) /
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The Atlanta Braves and San Francisco Giants met up on Sunday to play the decisive game of a three-game set on Sunday at Truist Park.

The San Francisco Giants and the Atlanta Braves both welcomed back starting pitchers from the injured list on Sunday as Anthony DeSclafani and Ian Anderson got the start for their respective clubs.

DeSclafani was very sharp through the first three innings, giving up only one hit and keeping the Braves from barreling up many of his pitches.

The Braves solved the DeSclafani puzzle in the bottom of the fourth through a combination of home runs and hustle.

Jorge Soler continued his rampage since coming to Atlanta by leading off the Braves’ half of the fourth by demolishing a pitch into the Hank Aaron terrace in left field, giving the Braves a 1-0 lead.

After Freddie Freeman legged out an infield hit (and later stealing second), Austin Riley blasted his 28th home run of the season, extending the lead to 3-0.

After back-to-back infield singles by Joc Pederson and Dansby Swanson, the Giants lifted DeSclafani in favor of Sammy Long.  Long restored order for San Francisco by retiring the bottom third of the Braves lineup in order and keeping the deficit at three runs.

That was really all Ian Anderson needed today as he was very good in his first game back with the major league club.

After struggling to locate a bit in the first couple of innings, Anderson settled in and was a ground-ball-inducing machine for the duration of his start.

Another encouraging sign for Ian Anderson was his ability to add some length to his start.

The one thing that has been an Achilles heel — so to speak — in Anderson’s young career has been high pitch counts leading to early exits.

On Sunday, Anderson was able to complete five and two-thirds innings on only 86 pitches.  A most encouraging sign indeed.

The parade of production from trade deadline acquisitions continued in the bottom of the sixth inning when Eddie Rosario, making his first start with the Braves, broke the game open with a two-RBI triple into right field, extending the Braves lead to 5-0.

It was all academic from there as the Braves rolled to a 9-0 win.

This Atlanta Braves’ victory gives them a series win over the team with the best record in baseball.

After dropping two tough games to the New York Yankees to begin the homestand, the Braves rebounded nicely taking two of three from the Giants.

It’s a little hard to believe that just a couple of months ago it was a bit agonizing to watch an Atlanta Braves game.  A season that was marred with bad luck, injuries, and inconsistent play has truly done a 180-degree turn.

Since the trade deadline, this team has been remarkably consistent in all aspects.  The starting pitching, bullpen, defense, and offense have all been consistently good.

Even Will Smith has been super consistent, albeit consistently shaky almost each and every time out.

With all due respect to the likes of Trea Turner, Max Scherzer, and Kris Bryant, has any trade deadline addition been more important to their new team than Jorge Soler?

I think we all knew Soler was a player that could provide big power when he connects but I have been extremely surprised about his plate discipline.

Soler has not been the free-swinging all-or-nothing player that I was expecting when I heard the news that he was coming to Atlanta.

And while all the trade deadline acquisitions that the Braves made have made serious contributions and improved the team immensely, it is Jorge Soler that has made the biggest impact.

The Braves will look to continue their good play as they head out to the west coast for a three-game set with the Dodgers and then four more with the Rockies.

While we all know that the Dodgers are tough, the Rockies may prove to provide just as big of a challenge on the upcoming trip.

The Rockies at home are a very different team than they are on the road.  Colorado has struggled mightily away from Coors Field, posting a 16-48 record on the road.  But at home, the Rockies are 21 games over .500, with a 43-22 record in Denver.

So this may prove to be the most challenging road trip of the season for our Atlanta Braves.

Next. Did the Braves option the wrong pitcher?. dark

It should be another fun week of baseball as the Braves will put their thirteen-game road winning streak on the line.