The Atlanta Braves were excited to debut their City Connect Uniforms for the first time on the 49th anniversary of Hank Aaron breaking Babe Ruth's home run record. However, it ended up being a tough night for the Braves as they struggled to do anything offensively against Padres starter Michael Wacha on Saturday night.
Wacha completed six innings of work against the Braves allowing just two hits and striking out ten batters. This is the first time Wacha has struck out that many batters since June 2015. He commanded all of his pitches well and his changeup was absolutely filthy the entire night. The Braves were able to put get some offense going but ultimately, the Padres were able to hold on to their lead and take the third game of the series.
Charlie Morton pitched a little better for Atlanta this time around. He seemed to follow through on his pitches a tad better and got a few more swings and misses. Unfortunately, he just wasn't able to find consistent command and keep the Padres off the board. Juan Soto launched a homer in the third inning to give San Diego a 1-0 lead.
The Braves made a couple of poor decisions in the fourth inning that eventually allowed the Padres to score three more runs. However, after a poor throw to Travis d'Arnaud at home to try and prevent a run from scoring, Rougned Odor collided with Travis at the plate knocking the ball far enough away so that a second run could score.
The Braves would appeal afterward because as it turned out, Odor never touched the plate. Ha-Seong Kim touched home plate before Odor had a chance to. Therefore, after the appeal, Odor was ruled out and this cut the Padres lead to just 3-0.
Travis d'Arnaud ended up leaving the game after the fifth inning because he took a very hard hit on that collision at the plate. Sean Murphy ended up checking in to the game the very next inning. It feels like the injuries are starting to pile up for the Braves as Brian Snitker announced d'Arnaud will likely be placed on the 7-day concussion IL.
Morton completed his outing after five innings allowing 3 runs on 6 hits with three walks and six strikeouts. Not the best outing but again, trying to take some positives away, Morton did appear to get more swings and misses and looked a little more comfortable on the mound. He was relieved by Dylan Lee who pitched two scoreless innings allowing no hits and striking out two batters.
Danny Young would be the next arm out of the bullpen and he pitched well in the eighth inning by getting the first three batters he faced in order on just eleven pitches. It was nice to see a nice outing from Young on his first outing with Atlanta.
Atlanta finally found some luck offensively in the bottom of the eighth inning as Sam Hilliard reached base with his first double of the season. Ronald Acuna just missed a two-run homer but got under the pitch too much and popped out to Juan Soto in left field. Matt Olson would single in the next at-bat, however, to give the Braves their first run of the game. It was short-lived though as Austin Riley would ground out to third to end the inning.
Young started the ninth inning for the Braves but found himself in trouble allowing a double and a single to put runners on the corners. Kirby Yates was called into the game to replace Young but things did not go well for the veteran reliever. Yates issued two walks and had a wild pitch which allowed the Padres to score their fourth run of the game. Kirby has not looked comfortable in any of his outings yet this season.
The Braves were set to face Josh Hader in the ninth and he promptly issued a lead off walk to Sean Murphy and a bloop hit to Ozzie Albies. Atlanta had runners at first and second with no outs. It looked like it was heading for a classic Braves comeback game. Unfortunately, Hader would end up striking out the next three batters (Pillar, Ozuna, and Arcia) to end the game. San Diego took game three of the series by a final of 4-1.
The Atlanta bats just couldn't find any consistency offensively and that's expected from time to time. However, you've gotta brush it off and come out ready to at least take a series split tomorrow evening. The final game of the series will be televised on ESPN Sunday Night Baseball starting at 7:10 pm EST.