The winning streak ended at five games, but that was the least of the team’s concerns. For anyone who somehow missed the news, Mike Soroka suffered a right leg injury in the third inning and had to be helped off the field.
Losing a game - which the Braves did - is one thing. Losing one of your most talented players, and one of two reliable starters on an already shaky pitching staff - which might have also done - is quite another. Mike has flashed promise as one of the best young pitchers in the game, and the moment was painful to watch. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Mike, irrespective of any baseball impact.
Prior to departing the game, Soroka struggled in the first inning, which is not uncommon for him. His uncharacteristic wildness began with two walks in the first frame, but he escaped unscathed. After a quick second inning, Marcell Ozuna’s defense was the culprit for a few runs in the third. After misplaying an Amed Rosario single that saw Rosario take two extra bases, Ozuna’s decision to throw the ball to third on a Conforto single allowed the runner to move up to second base. Once Soroka walked Pete Alonso, a Robinson Cano double down the left field line scored two runs.
It was on the following sequence, on a ground ball off the bat of J.D. Davis, that saw Soroka topple to the ground when stepping off the mound. He was helped off the field without putting any weight on his right foot. Chris Rusin, who was recently installed to replace Jhoulys Chacin, came on in relief. He allowed two of the inherited runs to score, then over the course of his 3⅓ innings allowed three runs of his own.
What a tough situation for Rusin. After being the fringe roster guy to replace Chacin, he came on in an emergency capacity and got 10 crucial outs for a team who badly needed an arm to eat innings. If the Braves feel like they need a fresh arm for tomorrow, Rusin could be the one who gets the DFA axe. Kudos to him for being a team player while the Soroka situation looms large.
The Braves accomplished something tonight they were unable to do when they saw Jacob deGrom on Opening Day, and that is to scratch across some runs. Travis d’Arnaud, deGrom’s former catcher, homered off him in the fifth inning to put the Braves on the board. The Braves tallied another run after a two-out walk to Ender Inciarte, who stole second and came home on a Ronald Acuña single.
In the seventh inning, the Braves found themselves with the bases loaded and one out, a prime opportunity to close the 7-2 gap. The threat was quickly deflated, as Ozzie Albies struck out and Freddie Freeman grounded out to first. Womp womp.
The outcome of the game, while it certainly counts in the standings, is largely inconsequential when compared to the greater situation that lies with Mike Soroka. We will update you with any credible information we can get our hands on.
Even after the loss, the 7-4 Braves are still in first place in the NL East, a game ahead of the Marlins.
The Braves will welcome the Blue Jays for three games at Truist Park starting tomorrow night at 7:10 pm ET.