Atlanta Braves shattered records this season but failed to adjust in NLDS

The Atlanta Braves lineup set more records than any lineup in recent history, but their chance at a second World Series ended when hitters looked lost in the most important games of the year.

Atlanta Braves starter Spencer Strider pitched well enough to win twice, but the lineup let him down,
Atlanta Braves starter Spencer Strider pitched well enough to win twice, but the lineup let him down, / Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports
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Atlanta Braves hitting coach Kevin Seitzer recognized the Phillies plan, but the lineup failed to adjust. / Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports

Nothing Changes if Nothing’s Changed

Kevin Seitzer is one of the league’s best hitting coaches. Somewhere around the middle of game two, one of the Braves' middle-of-the-order bats struck out on a pitch around his eyes. The camera switched to the dugout in time to see Seitzer turn away, clearly upset at the swing.

I believe he and his assistants recognized what was happening and told the players to lay off those pitches until the pitcher proved he could consistently throw strikes at the top, but they didn’t make the adjustment.

Braves batters were only able to drive the ball when a Phillies pitcher was forced to move off the top of the one. Two such mistakes were made to Riley and he punished both of them.

Acuña just missed a slam on another but, in general, the Phillies pitchers pitched to their plan and it worked.


Phillies skipper Rob Thompson made the bold choice to use his power arms to challenge the Braves lineup with high heat at the top of the zone and said afterward that it could easily have blown up in his face.

It didn’t implode because none of his pitchers had an off-day and because Braves hitters didn’t force them to pitch down in the zone.

That’s a Wrap

It’s up to Atlanta Braves manager Brian Snitker and his staff to recognize and counter the opposing team's plans. I believe Seitzer recognized the plan during game one, but the batters didn't make the adjustment.

The Braves lineup is full of talented, intelligent baseball players who will eventually use the lessons from this loss to stop it from happening again. Knowing that doesn’t make it easier to take, but it should prevent it from happening again.