Braves cut up 4-game collection with Mets
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NEW YORK — Nothing misplaced. Nothing gained. Now the Braves will spend the subsequent 5 months trying to beat the six-game division deficit they confronted after ending a four-game collection with a 9-2 win over the Mets on Wednesday afternoon at Citi Subject.
Although it was good to see these two groups face one another for the primary time this season, the Nationwide League East wasn’t going to be determined in Might. However by sandwiching wins round Tuesday’s ugly doubleheader, the Braves not less than prevented getting buried too far within the standings. The six-game division deficit equals the one the reigning World Sequence champs confronted towards the Mets on July 28 of final yr.
However as a substitute of relying on one other late-season surge, the Braves are hoping to get proper a lot sooner than they did final yr. They confirmed some indicators of turning the nook throughout a collection that included its share of ups and downs.
“Our workforce chemistry is actually excessive and we’re all having enjoyable,” Braves catcher Travis d’Arnaud mentioned. “Good issues are occurring on the baseball discipline and we’re speaking effectively. So yeah, good issues are coming.”
The Braves have received only one collection this yr and so they opened this highway journey by shedding two of three to the last-place Rangers. However whereas they won’t have discovered their stride but, right here have been three encouraging issues seen throughout this collection:
Well timed hitting
OK, there wasn’t an abundance of well timed hitting. The truth is, there actually wasn’t any throughout Tuesday’s doubleheader. However d’Arnaud contributed an enormous two-strike hit within the sixth inning of Monday’s win and he drew his first stroll of the season to plate the primary run of the seven-run sixth that determined Wednesday’s recreation.
The Braves entered Wednesday’s sixth having gone 3-for-20 with runners in scoring place throughout this collection. However Ozzie Albies, Adam Duvall, Dansby Swanson and Ronald Acuña Jr. recorded 4 hits with RISP within the massive inning. d’Arnaud interrupted this stretch by drawing a bases-loaded stroll, the one free move he has drawn in 73 plate appearances this yr.
Atlanta entered Wednesday hitting .159 (22-for-138) with runners in scoring place over their previous 20 video games.
“It was good to maintain the road shifting a bit bit with the one massive inning,” Braves supervisor Brian Snitker mentioned. “I don’t know if we had carried out that this yr. That was good to see. It exhibits we’re able to that.”
The underside of the order
Making the sixth-inning rebellion much more encouraging was the actual fact it included Duvall’s two-run double and Swanson’s RBI single. The Braves want this duo to be productive to make the lineup much less high heavy and assist create extra alternatives for Acuña Jr.
Swanson began gradual, however has hit a team-best .341 with a .954 OPS over his previous 13 video games relationship again to April 22. After producing what was simply his third multi-hit recreation on Wednesday, Duvall was nonetheless hitting .191 with a .537 OPS and only one residence run.
Nonetheless, Duvall’s common exit velocity and hard-hit fee are larger than they have been when he hit 38 homers final yr.
“Historically, I’ve began off slower,” Duvall mentioned. “I simply want to wash some issues up and we’ll be proper the place we should be.”
Acuña has gone simply 5-for-25 with one extra-base hit since being activated from the injured listing. However as he performed in three of the 4 video games towards the Mets, he confirmed no indicators of being simply 10 months faraway from a torn proper ACL.
The energetic outfielder created some pleasure throughout Wednesday’s sixth inning when he received in a rundown and ended up sprinting round and previous Francisco Lindor to succeed in second base efficiently. After sliding and dusting himself off, the 24-year-old star regarded towards his dugout and playfully ran in place.
“I’m certain all of the medical individuals have been [gasping] once they noticed him operating round like that,” Snitker mentioned. “Nevertheless it simply goes to point out you ways wholesome he’s.”
Acuña recorded the Braves’ quickest first-to-home time (30.5 ft./sec.) throughout Monday’s collection opener and on Tuesday he smoked a 116.6 mph double, which stands because the fourth-hardest-hit ball he has ever hit. He hasn’t been cleared to play on daily basis but, nevertheless it’s going to be onerous to maintain him out of the lineup the extra he exhibits his physique and knee can endure the every day grind.
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