Braves nab fifth straight win in dramatic fashion, become first team in majors to win 80 games

Riding the momentum of their third consecutive shutout not just 24 hours prior, the Braves looked to make quick work of the San Fransisco Giants.

San Francisco Giants v Atlanta Braves
San Francisco Giants v Atlanta Braves / Matthew Grimes Jr./Atlanta Braves/GettyImages
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Following a ceremony honoring Rico Carty and Fred Tenney, incoming members to the Braves Hall of Fame, the stage was set, the starters in Logan Webb and Yonny Chirinos were ready to go, and the quest for the elusive win number 80 began.

The first reunion with former Atlanta Braves outfielder and certified bad-boy Joc Pederson and his Giants proved positive, with Strider shutting down the San Fransisco bats en route to the team’s third consecutive shutout. A cool, clear Saturday afternoon in Cobb County set the tone for a night of repeated success and milestone achievements. 

GAME SUMMARY

The Braves entered the contest 13 games up on Philadelphia for the lead atop the National League East, eyes set on being the first team to reach the 80-win marker this season. Coming off the heels of a solid and energetic win the night before, it was expected the bats would ride that momentum and make early and quick work of Logan Webb.

They did; but, not right away.  

The first pitch of the game from Chirinos sailed into the chop house seats, effectively ending the 27-inning scoreless streak. While he bounced back to strike out two en route to rapidly ending the frame, troubles continued early on, seeing the Giants take a prominent 2-0 lead on baseball’s best Braves. 

That’s the beautiful thing about baseball: the longevity and perseverance that goes hand in hand with every game of the nearly eight-month-long season render any early sign of life insignificant when measured up on a larger scale. 

Simply put, baseball’s a long game, and hardly any games are decided right away; including this one. 

Matt Olson got the offense started with a single to right in the bottom of the second inning, followed closely by back-to-back base hits from Marcell Ozuna and an RBI double at the hands of Eddie Rosario, quickly evening the deficit two-to-two.

New York Yankees v Atlanta Braves
New York Yankees v Atlanta Braves / Matthew Grimes Jr./Atlanta Braves/GettyImages

The action remained stagnant through the next few innings, staying put at an even-keeled score, with those watching at home lucky enough to enjoy a story or two from the legendary Rico Carty and Andruw Jones. Flashbacks of the alumni home run derby played in between the foul-offs and routine ground balls, and baseball in its purest normality reigned supreme for a majority of the contest.

Quickly upon the arrival of the fourth inning, the Giants crept up on Chirinos again, putting runners on base quickly and tactically. Sabol hit home Pederson via a sacrafice fly. tipping the scales in favor of San Fransisco 3-2. This surge of life only seemed to motivate the Giants, as the small ball continued to plague Chirinos, seeing the score quickly hold a deficit of two.

The Braves needed their baseball-leading bats to catch fire quickly if they wanted any hope of gaining ground on Webb and the Giants. Though the start of their fourth saw a single by Rosario along with an RBI double by D'Arnaud to cut the deficit to one, the Braves still found themselves staring down the eyes of a winning streak soon to be snapped.

TURNING POINT

The fifth inning proved to be a small turning point for Atlanta. Brad Hand led off the early bullpen work for the Braves, making quick and easy work out of the Giants capped off by an impressive catch by Rosario. Almost as immediately as the bottom of the frame began, Ronald Acuna Jr added another tick to his historic 2023 resume, launching a home run to even the scoring at four.

The quest for 40/60 adds another notch on the homer side, with that opposite-field blast serving as his 28th of the year. That home run also snapped Logan Webb's streak of 27 innings without allowing a home run.

Following a rocky start to the sixth that saw the Giants score on a bases-loaded play off the bat of former Brave Johan Camargo, Atlanta looked to the surge that can only come from a positive challenge and hoped to start a momentous comeback.

Back-to-back base hits were met with a strikeout and a double play to send the Braves to the seventh down 5-4, seeing the score stay stagnant as the Braves failed to conquer submarine sensation, Tyler Rogers. As the game wound down, things started to look bleak; momentum fell flat, bats stayed cold, and it looked like 5-4 would prove to be the score that would effectively end the Braves' recent winning streak.

There's a reason the Braves are the best team in baseball, you know; they are a team that should NEVER be counted out, especially late in the game.

Just as he did all throughout the 2021 postseason, Eddie Rosario came through in the bottom of the 8th, sending a two-run home run into the water display in center field, causing a roar throughout Truist that could seemingly be picked up on the Richter scale.

Iglesias came in to close the door, the game was over, and the Braves became baseball's first team to 80 wins.

The late-inning heroics and dramatic nature of Saturday's contest can ultimately prove one thing: you should NEVER count the Atlanta Braves out. Ever.

LOOKING AHEAD:

With the return of Ozzie Albies on the horizon, the Braves turned to newly-acquired Nicky Lopez to fill the void. Lopez, arriving in a deal with Kansas City for hyper-rental Taylor Hearn, has done nothing but impress in his scattered appearances for the Braves.

Nicky Lopez
San Francisco Giants v Atlanta Braves / Matthew Grimes Jr./Atlanta Braves/GettyImages

Through 21 plate appearances this season, Lopez is slashing .368/.579/1.008 with 1 HR, 8 RNI, 1 SB, and a scoreless inning on the mound, to boot. While the return of baseball’s premier second baseman looms closer and closer, fans should take solace in the fact that Lopez is there to fill any spot as needed. 

PITCHERS OF RECORD:

W: Yates, 7-0, 2.81 ERA

L: Rogers, 4-5, 2.73 ERA

S: Iglesias, 24, 2.95 ERA

HOME RUNS:

SFG: LaMonte Wade Jr., 1st Inning, Solo (12)

ATL: Ronald Acuña Jr., 5th Inning, Solo (28)

BRAVES BULLPEN:

Brad Hand: 1.0 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 1 K

Pierce Johnson: 1.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 K

A.J. Minter: 1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 K

Yates: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 2 K

Iglesias: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 K

NEXT GAME:

August 20th vs. San Fransisco, 1:35 PM ET.