The Braves got seven strong innings from Mike Soroka, who allowed just one run to the Nationals. With Adam Duvall homering again, Ozzie Albies acting as a catalyst for the top of the order, and Tyler Flowers breaking out of a recent slump, the Atlanta offense was able to build a 4-1 lead as Soroka exited the game. Then the fun ended, as the Atlanta bullpen allowed a single run in the eighth on a Matt Adams homer off Anthony Swarzak to pull the Nationals within two. The ninth saw Luke Jackson allow the first two batters to reach before he was pulled in favor of Sean Newcomb. The left-hander promptly walked the first batter before allowing a bases loaded single that made the score 4-3 with no outs and the winning run on second base. A double play allowed the tying run to score, but Newcomb struck out the next batter to force extra innings. In the tenth, Josh Donaldson hit a towering go-ahead blast to right-center to give Atlanta a 5-4 lead. Josh Tomlin made things interesting in the bottom-half, but was able to secure the victory for the Braves. This was a big win for Atlanta, but also highlighted their need for bullpen help.
And bullpen help is just what they got, as Chris Martin, Shane Greene, and Mark Melancon were each acquired to help stabilize a relief corps that has been anything but reliable in recent weeks. Here is Kris’ breakdown of all those acquisitions and why they could mean so much for the Braves down the stretch.
In addition to their acquisition of Martin on Tuesday, the Braves wanted to further bolster their relief corps, and did so with Tigers closer Shane Greene. The right-hander is controlled through 2020, and Atlanta sacrificed Joey Wentz and Travis Demeritte to acquire him.
The Braves surprisingly took on all of Melancon’s remaining salary, which is close to $20 million for this season and next. That aspect may have reduced their prospect cost, as Atlanta traded Tristan Beck and Daniel Winkler.
Demetrius looks at what the acquisitions of three potential shutdown relievers could mean for the Braves as they prepare for the stretch run.
Murphy is hardly a suitable replacement for either of the Braves’ current major league catchers, but will provide sufficient depth in the event of an injury.
Well the Astros got a lot better. Greinke was moved just before the Trade Deadline passed, as Houston traded three of its top-five prospects to Arizona for Greinke and $24 million toward his remaining $57 million.
The Cubs get a lefty masher from the Tigers.
Joey Wentz, Kolby Allard, and Tristan Beck each make an appearance on this list, but are close enough to the bottom that fans should feel pretty good about all the trades made on Wednesday.