Jake Odorizzi survives, as Braves trim their deficit in the NL East

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In his first three starts for the Braves, Jake Odorizzi made quite an impression on the fanbase… and not in a good way. He never made it past the fifth inning in any outing and recorded an unsightly 5.93 ERA. To make matters even worse, his 7.29 FIP suggests he was even the beneficiary of some luck over those three starts.

Monday night against a lowly Pittsburgh Pirates squad was a different story, though. Odorizzi had his best stuff, and he was brilliant over six innings, striking out seven batters and making only one mistake, which resulted in a home run off the bat of O’Neil Cruz. The rookie belted one over the high wall in right field, but thankfully, nobody else was on base. The blast was one of only five hits by the Pirates on the night, four of which came off of Odorizzi.

The Braves bats were as quiet as they’ve been in a long time in this one, but they didn’t need much. Michael Harris II provided all the scoring when he smacked a two-run homer the opposite way to give the Braves a two-run lead. I probably don’t even need to tell you who was on base in front of him. It was that bad man Vaughn Grissom, who singled just before Harris came up to bat.

The Braves bullpen relieved Jake Odorizzi in the seventh with no room for error, but A.J. Minter, Raisel Iglesias, and Kenley Jansen were nearly perfect, allowing just one hit between the three of them and slamming the door on the Pirates.

The win was the Braves 12th in their last 14 games, as they cut the Mets lead in the NL East down to just three games with 38 to play.

Nobody should be happier than Jake Odorizzi last night. Coming into the game, he was definitely on the hot seat. The Braves have several young arms like Ian Anderson, Kyle Muller, and Bryce Elder hungry for their next opportunity. Had Odorizzi found trouble again against a porous Pirates lineup, he might not have received another chance this season as a starter for the Braves.

Photo: David J. Griffin/Icon Sportswire

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