The NLDS is set and it’s a rematch of the 2022 matchup between the Braves and Phillies after Philadelphia took care of Miami. When asked about the upcoming series, Marlins manager Skip Schumaker had some praise to give to Atlanta’s lineup.
“We didn’t really know how to pitch them, honestly. I don’t think the league did. We were trying everything, and it starts with obviously the top of that middle of the order. They make you pay when you make a little bit of a mistake,” per Gabe Burns.
Marlins manager Skip Schumaker on #Braves:
"We didn't really know how to pitch them, honestly. I don't think the league did. We were trying everything, and it starts with obviously the top of that middle of the order. They make you pay when you make a little bit of a mistake."
— Gabe Burns (@GabeBurnsAJC) October 5, 2023
This Braves lineup is historically great.
It all starts at the top with Ronald Acuna Jr., who became the first member of the 40/70 club. He’ll be named NL MVP in a few weeks, and his teammate Matt Olson will be right behind him after breaking the franchise record for home runs in a season. Those two have led the Braves from start to finish, but what’s even crazier is they might not even be the scariest sticks in the lineup right now, given Marcell Ozuna’s production since the calendar turned to May.
That doesn’t even mention the likes of Ozzie Albies, Austin Riley, Michael Harris II, Sean Murphy, etc., all of whom have .800+ OPS. They tied the 2019 Twins for most homers in a season, and this wasn’t with juiced balls.
They’re the first team to have a slugging percentage over .500, but what’s most impressive is the balanced approach of the offense. This lineup takes what pitchers give them.
In 2022, the Braves had the third-worst strikeout rate in the league, swinging and missing in 24.6% of their at-bats. This season, they rank fifth, striking out 20.6% of the time.
The media is falling over themselves for the Phillies, who just throttled the Marlins in one of the craziest sports environments I have ever seen in Philadelphia. They’ve got two horses in Zack Wheeler and Aaron Nola, but this Braves team is built differently, and they’ve certainly got revenge on their minds.
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