For the first time in a calendar year, the Braves were absolutely throttled in a series, and it couldn’t have come at a more unfortunate time. The Mets stretched their lead in the NL East to 6.5 games after taking four out of five matchups at Citi Field. It was total domination, and there weren’t many positive takeaways, but I’ve managed to come up with three that could be critical moving forward.
A Ronald Acuña tear could be looming
Acuña came to New York amid the worst slump of his career, but he’s leaving it a different man. In Game 1, he hit a critical two-run homer — his first home run since July 8th. And in Game 2, he had four hits in five at-bats. Overall, Acuña recorded eight hits in 19 plate appearances and also made several impressive plays in right field. Following the comments he made on Thursday about his knee, many Braves fans were worried, but it looks like things could be turning around for their 24-year-old superstar. If that happens, Atlanta will be an entirely different team over the final two months.
Raisel Iglesias will be a tremendous addition
The most significant move the Braves pulled off at the trade deadline was the addition of Raisel Iglesias, who they acquired just before the buzzer in exchange for Jesse Chavez and Tucker Davidson. Iglesias made his Braves debut on Friday, allowing a double before quickly shutting the door in the eighth inning, which included two strikeouts. It was an impressive performance, and he was equally as dominant on Sunday in a perfect inning.
Iglesias gives the Braves another high-powered arm at the end of their bullpen. When this team gets a lead, it will be incredibly difficult for opponents to come back. That will be especially vital come October when bullpens reign supreme. But not only will Iglesias help the Braves this season in their quest to repeat as champions, but he is also under control for three more years. Iglesias will be a critical piece to Atlanta’s bullpen for the foreseeable future.
Sometimes, it takes a good ass-whooping to wake up a sleeping giant. Coming off a World Series, the Braves haven’t been beaten up that bad since they were swept by the Dodgers last year at Chavez Ravine at the end of August. The Mets have proven to be the better team through two-thirds of the season. Fortunately, they don’t hand out trophies in August. Everything the Braves want to accomplish this season is right in front of them, but how they respond to this beating is critical. Hopefully, they take it the right way and focus on what’s ahead.
Photo: David J. Griffin/Icon Sportswire