Matt Olson leads home run barrage, Strider strikes out 9 in Braves' 7-1 win
By Eric Cole
Matt Olson's two home run day would lead the Atlanta Braves' home run barrage on Sunday. Spencer Strider and the pitching staff appreciated the support, but wouldn't really need it as the Braves dispathed of the Nationals by the score of 7-1.
The Braves got this game started in all of the right ways. First, we had back to back solo home runs from Ronald Acuna Jr. and Matt Olson to give the Braves a quick 2-0 lead. Those were the first two home runs of the year for Atlanta and based on recent history, we can expect them to be a regular occurrence. Ronnie's line drive homer had an exit velocity of 106.6 MPH while Olson's was hit even harder at 111 MPH flat.
Spencer Strider would then announce his presence with a clean first inning that included a pair of strikeouts. During the frame, Strider would hit 99 MPH on his fastball multiple times and things were looking good for the Atlanta Braves professional baseball club, especially after Spencer Strider struck out the side in the second.
The Braves would add a run in the third inning. After singles from Orlando Arcia and Austin Riley, a wild pitch from Josiah Gray would allow Arcia to scamper home and give the Braves a 3-0 lead. Michael Harris II would then help pad the lead with an RBI single with two outs in the inning and just like that, the Braves staked themselves to an early four run lead.
Marcell Ozuna would get in on the fun in the fourth as he connected for his first home run of the season to make it 5-0 Braves. The third and fourth innings for Spencer Strider weren't his most crisp work as he struggled to find the strike zone consistently, but a double play in the third got him out of one jam and he pitched out of trouble in the fourth.
After a few somewhat spooky but still fine scoreless innings of work, Spencer Strider would come back out for the sixth inning and end on a high note. He made quick work of Joey Meneses and Dom Smith and after a two out single and a bit of a battle against Corey Dickerson, he would collect another strikeout to end the inning. His final line on the day of 6 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 3 BB, and 9 K is something we will take every single time.
Matt Olson was at it again in the top of the seventh as he hit his second home run of the day, a two-run shot that would stretch the Braves' lead to 7-0. Nick Anderson would come in to relieve Strider and make quick work of the Nationals in the bottom half of the seventh. After that Joe Jimenez would come in and get a swift inning of his own in the eighth.
After a quiet top of the ninth inning from the Braves offense, Kirby Yates would come in to close the game out. After getting the first out, he would give up a solo shot to Keibert Ruiz and end the shutout bid, but get the next two hitters without any difficulty to secure the win and move the Braves to 2-0.