Braves: Bad luck and cold bats end in doubleheader sweep

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Tuesday was not fun for Braves fans, to say the least. After losing 5-4 in a nail-biter in the first game of the doubleheader, which saw Matt Olson send a three-run bomb to right center, the Braves were shut out 3-0 in the nightcap. Atlanta now has to win on Wednesday afternoon to split the series in New York and avoid falling eight games behind in the division. 

Bad Luck Braves

Throughout both games, the Mets reached base on weakly hit balls; meanwhile, Atlanta was consistently robbed on hard hit liners. Part of this is just baseball, but yesterday couldn’t have been scripted better for New York. 

In the first game, four of the Mets’ seven hits were under 80 MPH. And there was also one absolute screamer off the bat of Travis Jankowski, clocking in at a whopping 83.5 MPH, which had a .050 expected batting average, yet it fell in for a single. 

The Braves got extremely unlucky too. There were two groundouts by Albies and Demeritte that both had an expected batting average of over .600. Mark Canha also robbed Ozzie of a hit on a ball that had a .580 xBA. This was all just in the first game! The second game was a little different; the Braves just couldn’t get that pivotal base knock.

Game 2 — Cold bats

Despite actually racking up more hits in the nightcap, Atlanta was abysmal with runners on. Collectively, the team went 0-11 with RISP, leaving seven men on base. While there were a lot more feebly struck balls by the Mets that found holes once again, the Braves can’t expect to win when their situational hitting was so poor. Marcell Ozuna and Austin Riley, in particular, each left three runners on, striking out in critical situations.

Other Notes

Let’s take a look at some positives from Tuesday. Charlie Morton struggled in the first two innings, giving up four earned runs. But after that, he locked in and looked like his old self, finishing strong to give the Braves a much needed 5.2 innings. Given the awful luck Atlanta experienced, you really can’t fault him for most of New York’s hits (although his command was subpar).

Matt Olson also broke out of his “slump” in a massive way, sending a ball into orbit in the first game and hitting two doubles in the second. And Kyle Wright was once again very sharp, allowing just three earned runs over seven innings. 

 

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