Hurston Waldrep struggles in first start for Braves

Hurston Waldrep Braves

Despite the Braves being painfully tough to watch over the last six weeks, Sunday afternoon brought a glimmer of hope as they called up top prospect Hurston Waldrep. Unfortunately, it went about the way one might expect it to go based on how this team has played of late.

Waldrep began the outing splendidly, going nine up and nine down in under 30 pitches through three frames. The Braves also provided some offense with a couple of runs, but the fourth inning is when everything turned south.

A two-out single off the end of the bat gave the Nationals their first run, which sparked a rally. The next batter launched a three-run homer into the bleachers, and a rattled Hurston Waldrep went on to load the bases before eventually exiting the game down 4-2.

Unfortunately, the 2023 first-round pick was still responsible for the three men on base, and his stat line got infinitely worse when Aaron Bummer surrendered a three-run double to C.J. Abrams, a hit that seemed to break the Braves’ will.

The offense never got going again until the ninth, a trend that has continued dating back to late April. The Braves, who had a historically great lineup a year ago, have been among the worst offenses in baseball since the first month of the season. We keep waiting for something to change, but it’s at the point where maybe this offense just isn’t that good. Outside of Marcell Ozuna, nearly everybody has been an automatic out. It doesn’t matter who is on the mound.

The Braves attempted to make a late rally in the ninth, thanks to a three-run homer off the bat of Jarred Kelenic. But at that point, it was too little, too late, as the Braves lost their third straight to the Nationals by a score of 8-5. It’s their sixth loss to Washington in eight tries over the last two weeks, and frankly, most of the contests haven’t been too competitive, especially from an offensive standpoint.

Hurston Waldrep showed a lot of the promise that has made him such a hyped-up prospect in his MLB debut despite the stat line. With that being said, it takes an unbelievably special type of talent to be ready after throwing fewer than 100 innings in the minors. This time last year, Waldrep was pitching in the Super Regionals for the Florida Gators. He could certainly use some more seasoning in Gwinnett before he’s ready to be a permanent fixture in Atlanta.

Photo: David J. Griffin/Icon Sportswire

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