The Braves have made it very easy to decide whether they will be buyers or sellers at the deadline with their recent play. They had lost six of seven coming into Sunday’s game versus the Phillies.
R.A Dickey dueled with Vince Velasquez and both brought their A games to the mound. Neither pitcher allowed an ER over seven innings, although Dickey did allow one unearned run in the fourth inning on a Kurt Suzuki passed ball.
The Braves lineup was once again poor with runners on, leaving nine on base, but they were finally able to break through in the eighth inning to tie the game on a Brandon Phillips groundball to second that plated Danny Santana. Kurt Suzuki had a chance later in the inning to put the Braves on top with the bases loaded and two outs but grounded out to the shortstop.
Jim Johnson entered to hold the game for Atlanta in the bottom half of the eighth after blowing his major league leading eighth save the night before. This outing did not go much better for the sinkerballer, as he exited after an error and a walk. Fortunately, Rex Brothers temporarily maneuvered his way out of trouble with back-to-back strikeouts.
Andrew Knapp would begin the bottom of the ninth with a double off Brothers. Akeel Morris relieved Brothers following the double, but it was to no avail. A walk, followed by a bunt hit, sent Freddy Galvis to the plate with the bases loaded an nobody out. Galvis would deliver with his third hit of game to walk the Phillies off for the second night in a row.
Atlanta has now lost seven of their last eight as they wrap up their four-game series with Philadelphia tomorrow. The Braves will send their most consistent pitcher of the year, Mike Foltynewicz, to the mound in a Monday matinee against Nick Pivetta of the Phillies.
Trade rumor news
Atlanta was expected to be one of the more active teams at the deadline, whether that be as buyers or as sellers, but that has not been the case thus far. The only move they have made was trading Jaime Garcia to the Twins, which was essentially just a salary dump. The team’s recent form has definitely put them in position to sell, making Brandon Phillips, Jim Johnson and Kurt Suzuki players to keep an eye on as the deadline approaches today at 4 ET.
Braves beat writer for MLB.com, Mark Bowman, says the team is also still in the market for a cost-controlled frontline starting pitcher.
As the Braves continue to look to sell Phillips and Jim Johnson, they remain interested in Sonny Gray and other controllable starters
— Mark Bowman (@mlbbowman) July 30, 2017
This has been an ongoing pursuit, but do not expect it to end today. The Braves are unlikely to acquire a big name prior to the deadline, however, they will be major players in free agency and in the trade market this offseason.