If the Braves were feeling ill effects of losing a late-night heartbreaker on Saturday, they certainly didn’t show on Sunday afternoon. The offense stayed white hot, dropping a 15-1 drubbing on a beleaguered Phillies pitching staff. Mike Foltynewicz was wild, but effectively so, and put up one of his better starts of the season on his way to his second win.
The Braves set season records in runs (15) and hits (19). Every Braves position player got at least one hit, and seven different Braves got multiple hits - Dansby Swanson being the only outlier. Josh Donaldson slugged a home run in his third straight game, Ronald Acuña, Jr. reached base five times.
Foltynewicz looked sharp as a tack over his first two innings, then his control started to wane and every inning seemed like an adventure. His final line - 6 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 5 BB, 6 K - does not truly tell the tale of the rollercoaster, but he managed to work around trouble and get the job done, something he has struggled to do often this season. Even with the wildness, just being able to limit the damage could make this outing a confidence booster. His velocity certainly made it to the yard today, as he touched 95 MPH on 54 of his 100 pitches - 18 of them were above 97, and he topped out at 99.
For the Philies, Vince Velasquez and Cole Irvin piggybacked off each other, and neither proved particularly effective. Velasquez allowed four runs over 2⅓ innings, while Irvin allowed six through 3⅔. Jerad Eickhoff followed them and gave up five runs of his own.
The game started in scary fashion, as Ronald Acuña Jr. was hit on the hand, but he appeared to come away unscathed. After Acuña’s HBP, an errant pickoff throw allowed him to take second. Following a Dansby Swanson single, Freddie Freeman kicked off the scoring with a two-run double to right, and he eventually came home on a Nick Markakis double play. Just like that, the Braves were up 3-0.
A third inning Acuña, Jr, single to left chased Velasquez from the game, and brought rookie lefty Cole Irvin on to pitch. After striking out Freddie Freeman, no small task for a wide-eye rookie, Irvin let a changeup find a little too much of the plate, and Josh Donaldson bounced it off the top of the wall in right center to make it 5-0. It was Donaldson’s third home run of the series, and fourth in the last eight games. If he can parlay this recent outburst into a meaningful stretch, this Braves offense is going to become even scarier.
The offensive machine continued churning in the fourth inning. Consecutive singles from Ozzie Albies and Tyler Flowers allowed Mike Foltynewicz to drop an RBI sac bunt, then Acuña, Jr. sent Flowers home with a single to make it 7-0.
Bryce Harper broke up Folty’s shutout bid in the fifth inning, slapping an RBI single into left. An error from Austin Riley let Harper advance to second, putting two runners in scoring position. Instead of caving, Folty battled out of trouble again, striking out Kingery and Rhys Hoskins to end the threat. It was inspiring to see Folty come out victorious, and this will hopefully be a sequence he remembers the next time he gets into a pickle.
Just when you might think the Braves were going to let their foot off the gas, they just kept pouring it on. Consecutive two-out doubles from Austin Riley and Albies in the fifth inning brought the lead to 9-1, and a sixth inning sacrifice fly from Nick Markakis put the Braves in double digits.
Once Irvin got pulled for Jerad Eickhoff, there was still no end in sight for the Phillies. Eickhoff allowed a leadoff double to Albies and a deep home run to Tyler Flowers. Two batters later, Ronald Acuña got his fourth hit of the game, and one that went over the bricks in right center - his 16th home run of the season. After a flyout from Swanson, the Braves were able to tack three more runs on the board.
A hot Braves prospect - not Louisiana Hot Sauce, believe it or not - made his debut, as Atlanta’s #12 prospect Huascar Ynoa came on to pitch the rest of the game. He notched his first two career strikeouts against Rhys Hoskins and Nick Williams in the eighth inning, which will be a pretty cool story to tell for the rest of his career. Like Foltynewicz, Ynoa hit 99 on the radar gun during his outing. When contrasting these with Josh Tomlin, who pitched between them and topped out at 91 mph - it was no wonder the Phillies hitters looked off balance all day.
Sean Rodriguez fulfilled the yearly obligation of a Phillies position player pitching against the Braves, and wound up being their most effective reliever on the day, inducing a 1-2-3 inning.
For as embarrassing as the first series of the season was, and for as much mental real estate as that series has occupied in many Braves fans ever since, the series is the polar opposite. The Phillies have had a first row seat to how dominant the Braves are capable of being, and will now get their turn of looking up at the Braves in the standings.
These two teams will meet again in Philadelphia, July 2-4.