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Swept by Phillies
The opening series was all too familiar for Braves fans. As recently as 2019, the Braves were swept by Philadelphia in the opening series of the regular season. The Braves would go on to win the National League East that year, as you know. So, not really a big deal. This year should be eerily similar, as the Braves have already turned around the offense since the conclusion of this series.
Braves hitters made the Phillies’ pitching staff look all-World caliber. And still, two of the three games were one-run losses. This series is what it is. Nothing really of merit to hold onto going forward for the Braves.
Sweep Double-Header vs Nationals
The two-day, three-game series against the Nationals was the first series win of the season for the 2021 Braves. The offense got it going in Game one against the Washington ace, Max Scherzer, but still came up short. Acuña had two homeruns in that Game 1. Games 2 & 3 would be played in the 7-inning double-header format due to losing Monday for COVID in the Nationals camp. Washington also had their entire opening series against the Mets cancelled due to COVID, pushing their aces to the Braves series. No matter though, Atlanta swept the Thursday ticket. The double-header provided the Braves with their first & second win of the season, & started their momentum into their home opening series against Philadelphia.
Note: Huascar Ynoa shined in his season debut as a starting pitcher.
Braves Take Series vs Phillies
The home opening series against the Phillies was one of drama, happiness, & controversy; as expected. Game one was a route, Braves took care of the Phillies easily, 8-1.
In Game One: Adrianza hit his first career pinch-hit homerun (3-run HR), Acuña launched a 456-ft HR to dead center, & Freddie Freeman hit his 2nd homerun of the season in the eighth inning.
In Game Two: it was neck & neck throughout, then the Phillies made a mental error on defense in the 7th when no one covered 2nd base for the force-out because the shift was on & communication definitely never happened. That extra half second afforded Ehire Adrianza all the time he needed to make it home for the go-ahead run from third base on the play. The loss was reliever Archie Bradley’s last appearance before being placed on the 10-day IL.
In Game Three: both teams notched three homeruns apiece. For Atlanta, the homerun hitters were: Ozzie Albies (1), Ronald Acuña (4), & Freddie Freeman (4). This game came down to the 9th inning, on a tag-up from third to home by Phillies third baseman Alex Bohm. He tagged up on a fly ball to left field, Marcell Ozuna caught it & threw it home, no relay. The ball arrived at home plate at the same time as Alex Bohm. The thing is though, even though Bohm reached home the same time as the throw, his foot never touched the plate. d’Arnaud applied to tag. The home plate umpire called Bohm safe for the go-ahead run. The play was reviewed by replay officials in New York City who didn’t have enough evidence to overturn the call, even though it was plain as day, the wrong call. I touched just as much of home plate as Alex Bohm did on that play, and I was in the state of Mississippi for the entirety of the game.
The call cost Atlanta the sweep. Hopefully it won’t play a factor in the final NL East standings. Which it very well could, as talented as this division is.