clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Freddie Freeman goes deep, but that’s all the offense for the Braves as Pirates win, 6-1

New, 53 comments

The Braves had chances to cash in runs, but other than Freddie Freeman actually hitting one over the fence, they were unable to put more than one run on the board.

Atlanta Braves v Pittsburgh Pirates Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images

Despite an early home run from Freddie Freeman, the Braves were unable to sustain enough offense to keep up with the Pirates as they fell 6-1 in Pittsburgh.

The early stages of this game played out exactly as we expected it would. Both starting pitchers came into this game with high ERAs and FIPs, so it wasn’t a huge shock to see them both give up home runs early. Chris Archer was the first one to surrender a dinger, and Freddie Freeman was the benefactor. Archer gave Freddie four straight fastballs, and Freddie didn’t miss it the fourth time around.

The Braves would just sit on that one run, but I think we all had a feeling that this wouldn’t be enough if Atlanta wanted to win today. Sure enough, Mike Foltynewicz went to the mound for the second inning and immediately gave up a leadoff double to Josh Bell and a homer to Colin Moran. The pain didn’t stop there as three pitches later, Gregory Polanco sent a curveball from Folty onto the porch in right field for a solo shot. The back-to-back dingers put the Pirates ahead 3-1, and that’s where things stood for most of the game.

This isn’t to say that both teams didn’t have their fair share of chances to add onto their run tally for the day. The Braves had a chance to strike back in the very next inning after Ronald Acuna Jr. made it to second base after a leadoff single and a sacrifice bunt (?) from Dansby Swanson (???). They had two men on after Freddie took a walk, but Josh Donaldson and Nick Markakis both failed to move the runners forward and that was that. The Pirates had two hits in the bottom half of that inning, but a double play and a groundout was how Folty got out of that one.

Both pitchers actually found their groove after the shaky start and we didn’t see either pitcher flinch until the seventh inning, which is when Brian McCann led it off with a double and then Ozzie Albies walked to give the Braves a runner in scoring position. That was the end of the day for Chris Archer and it was also the end of the day for Mike Foltynewicz as the Braves elected to put in a pinch hitter.

Interestingly enough, Matt Joyce was the first man who the Braves went with as a pinch hitter. However, after Pittsburgh made their pitching change, the Braves decided to go with Johan Camargo instead. That didn’t work out for Atlanta, as Camargo grounded into a double play and Acuña was unable to bring home McCann from third base.

After Sean Newcomb retired the Pirates 1-2-3 to end the seventh, the Braves nearly went down in order until Josh Donaldson reached first on an error. Then we saw something that we definitely don’t see everyday: He stole a base. He didn’t any further since Markakis popped out to end the inning.

While the Braves may have squandered most of their scoring chances, the Pirates finally cashed in during the eighth inning. After Newcomb gave up a single to lead off the inning, Jacob Webb came on and the Pirates were able to get to him. Webb gave up a single and two doubles, and that included another double from Josh Bell. Bell went 3-for-4 on the day, and all three hits were doubles. His double in the eighth inning made it 5-1 and Elias Diaz’s extra-base hit made it 6-1 and that’s how it ended.

It’s a disappointing conclusion to what seemed like a promising series for the Braves. They were unable to take their chances against Chris Archer and the three runs that Mike Foltynewicz gave up in the early stages of the game were basically all that the Pirates needed to eventually run away with it. The good news is that the Braves will get to go to Miami after this, which is a city where they’ve already found plenty of success. Hopefully that will be the spot for them to rebound in as well.