The Atlanta Braves welcomed the Los Angeles Angels to Truist Park on Monday evening. Atlanta sent veteran Charlie Morton to the mound hoping to improve upon his last start.
While it was a quality start technically, Morton struggled early on allowing a lead-off homer to put the Braves in an early 1-0 deficit. The Angels ended up loading the bases but luckily, Morton escaped the inning without further damage.
Morton would allow two more runs during his outing and all three runs scored were via solo homers on Monday evening. Charlie ended his night after 6 innings allowing 3 runs on 6 hits, with 3 walks and 8 strikeouts.
The walks have been a problem for Charlie across his last three starts and command hasn't been as good as it was early in the season. However, he's still giving the Braves good starts for the most part and his ERA on the season sits at 3.62.
The Atlanta Braves' offense struggled to put up a lot of offense as they only scored one run all evening. Griffin Canning was supposed to start originally for the Angels but he was scratched just before the game. Chase Silseth ended up checking in and handled the Braves for the most part.
The second time through the order, the offense started to figure him out and hit the ball hard. Matt Olson launched his 36th home run of the season to put Atlanta on the board in the 5th inning. This home run was also the 200th homer of 2023 for the Braves offense which is on pace to break the MLB record for homers in a season.
Olson was 2-2 on the night with the homer and two walks (one of those being intentional). He is just 3 home runs away from his career high of 39 home runs in a single season. He's on a pace where he could break the Braves franchise record of 51 home runs set by Andruw Jones in 2005.
Atlanta had a chance against the Angels bullpen in the 6th inning as they had the bases loaded but Travis d'Arnaud grounded out to end the Braves threat and the team never really got another chance. They were hitting the ball hard most of the night but the hits just wouldn't fall.
The Braves bullpen held Ohtani and the Halos at bay through the 7th and 8th inning. A.J. Minter made his return and the first batter he faces? Shohei Ohtani. No big deal. Ohtani lined a single into right field but Minter was able to get a double play thanks to a very nice pick at third by Austin Riley. Minter then struck out Moniak to end the inning.
Pierce Johnson covered the 8th inning and looked absolutely locked in on the mound. He allowed 1 hit and struck out the other 3 batters faced in the inning. His breaking ball was absolutely disgusting on Monday night. He looks to be a nice asset for the Braves bullpen.
The Angels got their 4th run in the 9th off of Daysbel Hernandez on an RBI single from recently acquired C.J. Cron. Hernandez allowed a single to the first batter faced, walked the second, and then needed to deal with Ohtani who was 2-for-3 on the evening.
Ohtani blasted a ball to center field that looked like it was going out but Michael Harris II had other plans. He leaped at the last moment and robbed Shohei of a potential homer to put the Angels up big. That was one of the best catches I've seen Harris make. The Braves appealed first to see if the runner left early but it was determined the runner did not. Cron drove in that 4th run on the very next pitch.
Daysbel escaped the inning with no further damage done. Matt Olson walked to start bottom of the ninth but Travis d'Arnaud lined out to right for the first out. Reynaldo Lopez then struck out Marcell Ozuna and Eddie Rosario to end the game and hand the Braves a loss.
It was a tough night but Atlanta will come out tomorrow night hoping for better results as they send Spencer Strider to the mound for his first-ever start against the Angels. Tomorrow is a busy day as it is the trade deadline so fans could be in for an interesting day all around.