The Atlanta Brave’s offense is unable to muster enough offense to combat a high scoring game by the Rangers in Kyle Muller’s first start back as the Braves lose 7-3 in Texas.
Less than 24 hours ago before first pitch in Sunday afternoon’s game, the Atlanta Braves sent down Bryce Elder who started last night’s game and brought Kyle Muller up from Gwinnett to start Sunday. Muller, who is one of the Braves top pitching prospects, looked a bit jet-lagged in his performance Sunday.
One of my favorite expressions in baseball is walks create runs, and that expression was proved in today’s game. In Muller’s short 2.2 innings Sunday, he walked 6 guys and allowed 4 hits giving up a total of 7 earned runs in his first start of the season.
Although Muller gave up 3 runs in the first two innings, it wasn’t until the third running where he ran into real trouble. In the third Muller gave up a single, a walk, a sac bunt by former Brave Charlie Culberson which scored a run, and another walk to load the bases.
Once the bases were loaded, Brian Snitker and the rest of the coaching staff pulled Kyler Muller and brought in Jesse Chavez in for relief. Facing Adolis Garcia, Jesse Chavez gave up a bases clearing triple to right field, making the score 2-7 at that point before ending the third.
The rest of the way was smooth sailing for the bullpen, comprised of Jackson Stephens, Darren O’Day, and William Woods, who held the Rangers scoreless in the last 5 innings of the game. Stephens offered a solid 3 innings giving up 0 runs and striking out three.
On the offensive side for the Braves, the story of the game has been the same story that has held the games to now 3 games below .500 with 23 games into the season: the offense is unable to produce with runners on base and runners in scoring position.
In many of these Braves losses the batting average with runners in scoring position is abysmal and tonight is no exception. Braves were 1-9 with runners in scoring position and left 6 runners on base throughout the game.
Austin Riley has continued to shine in a struggling Braves offense including tonight where he was 1-2 with a 2 RBI single, a walk, and an HBP. Dansby Swanson also stayed hot tonight going 2-3 with a double off the wall and a run and RBI to show for it.
With the loss Sunday the Braves record now stands at 10-13 and they are currently 4th in the NL East. Starting Monday, the Braves will begin a very important series against the New York Mets.
The Mets currently sit at first in the division and this series would be a good way for the Braves to get back into the mix in the NL East. Max Fried is slated to start against Chris Bassitt which should be an exciting game Monday night