Braves Offense Falls Short in Extra Innings Loss to Nationals

ATLANTA, GA - SEPTEMBER 04: Jesse Chavez #60 of the Atlanta Braves throws against the Miami Marlins in the seventh inning at Truist Park on September 4, 2022 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Brett Davis/Getty Images)
ATLANTA, GA - SEPTEMBER 04: Jesse Chavez #60 of the Atlanta Braves throws against the Miami Marlins in the seventh inning at Truist Park on September 4, 2022 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Brett Davis/Getty Images) /

The New York Mets and Atlanta Braves are once again tied up for first in the NL East, which means every one of the last 7 games left on the Braves schedule is must-win.

The Atlanta Braves come into play once again tied with the Mets for first place in the NL East, with only over a week left in the season.

The Braves faced the Nationals for the final time in the 2022 season Wednesday, with Jake Odorizzi on the mound. Though Odorizzi has not performed the way many fans would have hoped he would have since being traded to Atlanta, the Braves needed a great outing from Jake in what is a must-win game.

Like Tuesday’s game, Washington was the first to strike. Odorizzi walked the leadoff batter, which resulted in an early run after a couple of deep flyouts and an infield single.

The Braves answered in the 2nd run with a solo shot from Matt Olson. Matt has struggled for much of the past few months, so it’s good to see him swinging the bat better over the past week.

After a long first inning including a few walks for Odorizzi, Jake settled in for a 5-pitch second inning. The 2nd inning would be Odorizzi’s only clean inning in his relatively short inning.

The back-and-forth between the two teams continued in the third inning when the Nationals reclaimed the lead via an RBI line drive into left field via Luke Voit.

Once again, the Nationals were threatening Odorizzi and the Braves with runners in scoring position in the 4th inning. Luckily for the Braves, the Nationals chose to double steal the runners, resulting in the lead runner being thrown out at third base. With 2 outs and a runner on 2nd base, Jake Odorizzi walked his final batter of the game.

Jesse Chavez was chosen to close out the 4th inning and did just that, getting the Nationals leadoff hitter Lane Thomas to line out to Matt Olson.

Luckily for the Braves offense, which was silent after the 2nd inning, the Braves relief core executed to near perfection. The Braves 3 relievers after Odorizzi, Jesse Chavez, Dylan lee, and Raisel Iglesias, threw a combined perfect 3.1 innings.

With the offense struggling, the Braves chose to pinch hit William Contreras for Robbie Grossman in the 8th inning, making Contreras the new DH. Contreras only needed to see one pitch before blasting a double off of the right field wall.

Dansby Swanson came up to the plate with 1-out and effectively swapped places with Contreras off of a fielder’s choice turned pickle. With 2-outs, one of the most clutch players in the league, Michael Harris II, came up to the plate and did what he always does. Harris hit a groundball up the middle, which despite a nice diving play from Nats’ second basemen Luis Garcia, which still garnered Mike a single due to his blazing speed and a poor throw. The poor throw, which was ruled an error, scored Dansby Swanson who started at second base, tying the game. Nationals’ reliever Carl Edwards Jr. finally ended the inning by striking out Matt Olson.

AJ Minter kept up the great work of the bullpen with another perfect inning, giving the Braves offense an opportunity to take the lead in the top 9th.

Eddie Rosario was the only Brave to get on base in the top of the 9th with a line drive to the opposite field, his 2nd hit of the game.

With the game down to the bottom of the 9th, Snitker put the ball in Kenley Jansen’s hands despite the game being tied, and Kenley delivered. Another 3-up 3-down inning for the Braves brought the game into extra-innings.

The Braves turned in another disappointing inning offensively in the top of 10th. Not being able to at least score the automatic man on seconds made it a lot harder for Jackson Stephens, the Braves 10th inning pitcher.

Stephens fought to get the first 2 outs while keeping the automatic runner at 3rd. Unfortunately for Stephens and the Braves, former Atlanta native CJ Abrams poked a groundball into right field to score the winning run.

A crushing blow for Atlanta who had the opportunity to go into the Mets series with a solid winning streak. Despite the loss, a sweep still puts the Braves in a great position to win the series, so destiny is in the Braves’ hands.

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Braves only have 6 games remaining, and every one of those are a must-win.