Giants-Braves Series Decided On Clutch Hitting
The San Francisco Giants-Braves series in Atlanta proved to be entetaining, with the home team winning three out of four. The Braves outscored the Giants by just one run 23-22, and both teams had chances to win all four games. Atlanta walked off in two of the wins, thanks to singles by Adam Duvall and Orlando Arcia. Travis d’Arnaud and Dansby Swanson both had strong series at the plate. Swanson’s three home runs over the last two games proved key in the final two wins of the series. Dansby’s case for making his first All-Star game is strong, especially with his average creeping over .300. The Braves starting SS’s defense has always been solid.
The Giants struggled to put the Braves away in the ninth in their 2-1 and 4-3 losses Monday and Wednesday. The Giants bullpen was not the only problem though as the team struck out 45 times in the series. In San Francisco’s 7-6 loss today the Giants grounded into a double play in the first three innings. The Braves capitalized on the momentum by scoring five runs in the second to seize control of the game.
Braves Pitching Rides A Roller Coaster
The scores of the four games: 2-1, 12-10, 4-3, and 7-6. Max Fried and Charlie Morton’s strong starts were offset by Spencer Strider and Kyle Wright’s rough ones. Fried and Morton, the two veterans, gave up just three runs and they combined to strike nineteen batters in fourteen innings of work. Strider and Wright only managed a combined nine innings, giving up ten runs and striking out eight. The struggles of the Braves younger starters led to more innings of work for the bullpen. It kept the Giants in both games, and ultimately led to Atlanta’s loss on Tuesday. The Braves relievers surrendered six runs, all earned, in 5.1 innings. Early exits by starters tax relievers with more appearances and stressful innings. Young pitching needs to be strong for Atlanta to continue gain ground on the New York Mets.
Braves Will Be Tested over Next Three Weeks
Four of Atlanta’s next six series are against the Los Angeles Dodgers, Philadelphia Phillies, St Louis Cardinals, and New York Mets. The Giants series was just a first test to see how much of a contender the Braves are this year. An 18-3 start to June has closed the gap on New York, but now the team finds out how it stacks up against the other three division leaders of the National League. The excellent pitching and clutch hitting the team has shown this month must continue for the Braves to rise in the standings.
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