3. Raisel Iglesias earns 30th save, Marcell Ozuna inches closer to 40 HR
Raisel Iglesias hasn't pitched much for the Braves over the last week or so. However, he's been one of the bright spots from the Braves bullpen this year. Friday evening saw him earn his 30th save of the 2023 season.
That is the 4th time in Iggy's career that he has reached at least 30 saves in a season. He was named NL Reliever of the Month back in August as he did not allow a single run through 13 innings. September has been a little more rough, as it has for most of the Atlanta pitching staff. Raisel has an ERA of 3.86 through 7 innings and opponents are batting .345 against him during the month.
However, there's little reason to worry as Iglesias has been able to work through rough patches this season. He will continue to be one of the best high-leverage options for the Braves in the postseason. On the season, he has a 2.79 ERA and has earned 30 saves out of 34 opportunities.
Ozuna continues impressive season
In the seventh inning of Friday's game, Marcell Ozuna hit his 36th home run of the season. The ball was absolutely mashed as it was a missile through the wind howling through Nationals Park. This means Ozuna is now just 4 away from 40 home runs in a season that started awfully for him.
His homer came in a pivotal moment and gave the Braves some cushion to their bullpen which had to cover 8 innings. The Nationals fought back but luckily Atlanta held on for the win.
It isn't lost on Ozuna how impressive of a feat this would be as he stated it would "mean a lot" to him because of the way he started the season. After two years of underperformance, off-field issues, and adversity in the first month or so of the 2023 season, Ozuna has become a really impressive story.
Whether the Braves really had intentions of letting him go at any point this season or not, Ozuna put in the work and has been a great player and teammate. He's been instrumental in helping his teammates be their best every day as well.
That's All Folks
It was a great night of baseball and one that Braves fans won't soon forget. Atlanta and Washington were set to play an afternoon game on Saturday but Tropical Storm Ophelia has changed those plans.
Instead, the Braves and Nats will play a doubleheader on Sunday. Atlanta is expected to start Kyle Wright and Spencer Strider. However, the Braves haven't announced which order the pair will pitch in. Keep things tuned to HTHB for updates.
Enjoy your weekend Braves Country! We are just getting started.