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The importance of the Braves taking Game 1 of the biggest road trip in 2021 cannot be overstated. Starting this trip with a win doesn’t guarantee overall success of the skid, but it’s a lot better than starting 0-1. It didn’t just happen neither, two key decisions pushed the Braves in the right direction.
Monday’s game suspension turned out to be a blessing in disguise. The Atlanta summer shower moved Game 1 of the Padres series to Wednesday and turned it into a 7-inning contest, as part of a doubleheader.
Why is that important?
Because it set in motion a rotation shift that ended with Touki Toussaint having one of the best starts of his career, earning a win against the California Friars. It moved Kyle Muller to Game 1 of the doubleheader. And with MLB’s new rules concerning doubleheaders, they were allowed to use a 27th man, who ended up being Game 2 of the DH, Bryse Wilson.
Wilson’s start gave Charlie Morton an extra day of rest and also avoided Chuck’s start being wasted because rain suspended Wilson’s start, without an official outcome. Basically, if Charlie would’ve started Doubleheader Game 2 he wouldn’t be available against Philly (who’s ahead of us in the division) for nothing, since the game didn’t even have an official outcome.
After the rotation shake the Braves scheduled starters are: Charlie Morton (Won 7-2), Max Fried, Drew Smyly, & Touki Toussaint. All those starters are at least 2 games over .500.
Thursday night saw a different lineup than we’re used to in 2021. Dansby Swanson, was moved to the 5-hole after a prolonged slump. At one point he was 1 for 17. You just can’t have that as your 2nd batter, in front of the 2020 MVP. Ozzie Albies switched with him and showed out, going 3 for 5 Thursday night, one hit being a double.
Ozzie was also Onbase for Dansby’s grand slam in the third inning. He gave Atlanta a lead that they wouldn’t relinquish.
The Braves have the best record in the National League East over the last 10 games, at 6-4. Washington & Miami are both 3-7 during that time. While Philadelphia & New York are 5-5; Philly is now on a 3-game losing streak. Atlanta & Philly are both now four games out of first place.
Atlanta plays three more games against the Phillies before traveling to New York for a four-game set. Afterwards, the Braves could be in first place.
Featured image taken by Matthew Grimes (@mgrimesmedia on Twitter)