The Atlanta Braves finished up their 2023 regular season road schedule with a doubleheader in DC. Each game had it’s takeaways and talking points, but ultimately each team walked away with a victory.
Game one summary
The Braves sent out their appointed 27th man in the doubleheader to start game one. That of course was Mr. Allan Winans. He got off to a sound start racking up two strikeouts in his scoreless first inning of work.
The scoring kicked off in the top of the second inning as it was the Braves who pushed across the first tally. Olson led off the inning with a walk, and Rosario later singled to put runners on the corners. Kevin Pillar then got Olson home on a sac fly to make it 1-0 Braves.
Washington immediately answered back with a couple of runs in the bottom half of the inning. The Nationals loaded the bases with no one out, and then pushed across their two runs via an infield single and sacrifice fly.
Throughout these next few innings each starter really had it working, as they kept the opposing offenses at bay. Winans and Rutledge matched zero’s through the rest of their outings, each going five innings.
Kyle Wright entered out the bullpen in the bottom of the sixth for his latest audition to earn a postseason roster spot down in Atlanta’s bullpen. His first inning of work was a bit rough as he allowed a couple of base knocks and an earned run, but overall his day went fairly well.
The most encouraging development was Wright’s comments after the game, where he stated he felt good and thought the ball was coming out his hand very well today. Unfortunately, the Braves offense did not have it working at all today as they went down without much of a fight in game one.
Sean Murphy did have a broken bat home run (Yes you read that right) in the top of the ninth to pull Atlanta within one run, but ultimately it wasn’t enough as the Nationals bullpen was nails the rest of the way, hammering home a 3-2 win in game one.
Game two summary
Game two faired much better for Atlanta, to no surprise as it was backed with more offense and a solid Spencer Strider start.
The game was scoreless until the bottom of the third inning when the Nationals staged a two-out rally off Strider. Ruiz had the big blow with a two-run double and Garía followed with a RBI single to make it 3-0 Washington after three innings of play.
Atlanta quickly answered off Nationals starter Adon for a four run inning and thier first lead of game two. Olson and Arcia each doubled home a run and Kevin Pillar followed with a two-run homer to account for all the damage in this inning.
Strider really settled in over the next two innings as he went six-up, six-down to keep the Braves lead at 4-3 through five. An exciting moment occurred in the sixth inning as Forrest Wall hit his first big league homer, a two-run shot right down the right field line.
Manager Brian Snitker tried to push Strider for one more inning in the sixth, as he was inching closer to the Braves single season strikeout record, but it wasn’t meant to be on this night. Garcia hit a solo homer with one out in the sixth to make it 6-4, and a walk a couple batters later spelled the end of the night for Spencer.
Jesse Chavez came in out the bullpen, electing to not take the bullpen cart and disappointing everyone, to get the final out of the sixth. The Braves got two runs back in the top of the seventh via Orlando Arcia and his two RBI single.
Joe Jimenez and A.J. Minter combined to throw scoreless seventh and eighth innings in relief and set the stage for Atlanta’s closer to end the night. Raisel Iglesias got bit by a Thomas solo homer, but he bounced back to get the final outs in the ninth and polish off win number 100 on the year for Atlanta.
The Braves will finish their 2023 regular season at home in Truist Park with a couple three game series against the Chicago Cubs and these Washington Nationals.