Braves clinch home-field advantage for NLDS despite disappointing loss to Phillies

The Atlanta Braves are scuffling at the moment and in the midst of a 4-game losing streak. Pitching has been absolutely terrible during the stretch and the offense joined on Monday with just 4 hits.
Philadelphia Phillies v Atlanta Braves
Philadelphia Phillies v Atlanta Braves / Kevin D. Liles/Atlanta Braves/GettyImages

The Atlanta Braves suffered their fourth consecutive loss on Monday evening as the Phillies knocked around Kyle Wright. However, the team secured home-field advantage during the NLDS thanks to Adam Wainwright earning his 200th career win against the Brewers.

Wright made his second start at the MLB level since returning from the IL for the Braves. His first start back also came against the Phillies last week. They chased Wright after 3 innings and scored 6 runs last time out.

This time around it was unfortunately more of the same for the Atlanta right-hander. Philadelphia was able to take advantage of mistakes from Kyle and deposit them into the seats a few times.

He was able to get through the first inning without any damage after working around a lead-off walk and single to give the Phillies two runners on with no outs. However, he battled and escaped the inning without a run scored.

The Braves offense got to work next and Ozzie Albies put Atlanta on the board with his 31st home run of the year. However, that's about all the Braves would muster up against Zack Wheeler. Atlanta roughed Wheeler up last week for 6 runs but he made adjustments this time around to prevent that.

Offensively, the team was quiet and handled fairly easily through the next 4 innings. Philly, on the other hand, homered in the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th innings to give themselves a 4-1 cushion. Wright was just missing his location all night and couldn't find the command that made him effective. His final line for the game was 4 IP, 5 H, 4 ER, 4 BB, and 5 K with 78 pitches (47 strikes). He is doing his best to get back in shape and just so happened to face one of the hottest offenses at the time.

Brian Snitker acknowledged as much in his postgame comments as Wright is pretty much going through Spring Training at the moment.

Wright started the 5th inning but only lasted two batters as Trea Turner reached on a dribbler down the third base line that almost went foul but stayed inside the third base bag for a hit. Wright then walked Bryce Harper and that was his night.

Enter the Braves bullpen in the 5th inning which has really been struggling as of late to cover the final 5 innings. Michael Tonkin was up first and got out of the 5th unscathed. The top of the 6th was a completely different story as Philly scored 3 more runs via the home run. Castellanos led off with a solo shot and Kyle Schwarber hit his 45th of the season with a 483-foot majestic two-run shot.

Atlanta had an opportunity to answer back in the bottom of the 6th inning with the bases loaded and two outs. Marcell Ozuna would strike out swinging to end the Braves threat and the 6-run deficit just proved to be too much for them to recover from.

The Braves had one bright spot this game bullpen-wise as Lucas Luetge, who was brought up today and replaced Dereck Rodriguez on the roster, pitched 2 scoreless innings with no hits, no walks, and 3 strikeouts.

Atlanta lost this game 7-1 and it was their 4 consecutive loss which has been rare for them this year. Since clinching the division, the Braves have not won a game and that's likely concerning to fans to see. You don't want the perception that the team has taken their foot off of the gas in any sense.

It's very similar to how the Braves finished the 2021 season in which they won the World Series. The team couldn't seem to win games and the bullpen was terrible during the final month of the season. So, it's understandable why someone would be concerned with this happening despite the incredible outcome of that postseason.

They'll have to just figure things out and hope the kinks are worked out sooner than later. Game two will take place tomorrow evening from Truist Park at 7:20 PM EST. Spencer Strider gets the ball with his 17-5 record and 3.73 ERA hoping to stop this trend.