One bad call leads to one bad pitch which leads to one big inning which led to another unfortunate loss for the Braves!
Though the beginning and middle of that sentence has been changed in many ways this year, the ending unfortunately has remained consistent far too frequently. The Braves offense once again struggled despite an amazing performance by Charlie Morton, and the Braves find themselves in big need of a victory tonight.
However, enough of the negative narratives that have happened far to often this year. One positive is the continued ascension of Ozzie Albies to once again rank among the best middle infielders in the game. Of course, he also is in the running to earn the starting nod in the 2021 All-Star game for the National League. It appears his competition is Adam Frazier of the Pittsburgh Pirates, who is having a breakout season. A brief comparison of their numbers entering last nights game:
Triple Slash: Frazier- .330/.399/.471 Albies- .253/.322/.493
HR/RBI/RUNS/SB: Frazier: 4/28/49/4 Albies: 12/46/44/10
fWAR- Frazier-2.5 Albies-2.2
Albies now has 13 home runs and 49 RBIs, and certainly seems to have the upper hand in terms of overall offensive numbers and defense. Frazier has been more consistent and also is doing it on a team where he likely will be the lone representative. At the end of the day, both players are certainly deserving. It will be interesting to see if a push from Braves Nation will possibly result in three Braves players starting for the National League.
- Over the past three years, one thing that has certainly played into the Braves favor is taking care of business against the rest of the NL East. That unfortunately has not been the case so far this year.
The #Braves are now 3-6 against the Mets this season. They haven’t lost the season series to them in four years.— Cory McCartney (@coryjmccartney) June 30, 2021
As Talking Chop’s Cory McCartney points out, the Braves have struggled against the Mets this year. Overall, they are 17-21 against the entire NL East. If the Braves are going to make a comeback to win the division, they must have a winning record to close out the first half of the season and likely need to finish with a winning record against the NL East this season.
- The Final Voting for the MLB All-Star starters continues today and ends tomorrow and the Braves finalists still need plenty of help. As of yesterday, both Ronald Acuna Jr. and Freddie Freeman were leading their races while Ozzie Albies was well behind Adam Frazier. All three players will likely be named All-Stars but it would be awesome to get a trio of players in the starting lineup.
- The loss of Mike Soroka for the rest of the year and the uncertainty around his future is still hard to believe. Over at FanGraphs, Dan Syzmborski looks at how the injury news impacts Soroka’s future Zips projections. Though not all hope is lost that Soroka can still be a part of Atlanta’s future plans, it will be a long road back for him to get to where he once was.
- With July one day away, the MLB Draft is right around the corner. Talking Chop’s Eric Cole and Matt Powers offer some insight on the Braves potential draft plans, and look forward to what might be in play in a few weeks.
- Though it seems like they are a part of this segment of the The Daily Chop on a daily basis now, both Shohei Ohtani and Kyle Schwarber continue to launch balls into orbit nearly every chance they get. Ohtani hit two home runs last night while Schwarber added another one to his total as well. Both players are certainly on historic runs and it has been a lot of fun to witness.
- The Braves are not the only perennial postseason contender struggling this year. Entering yesterday, the New York Yankees were 7 1⁄2 games behind the Rays in the NL East and 5 1⁄2 games out of a AL Wild Card spot. General Manager Brian Cashman was straightforward with his thoughts on the Yankees, clearly feeling they have the ability to play better moving forward.
- The MLB Trade season got off to a bit of an early start yesterday afternoon as the Toronto Blue Jays acquired Corey Dickerson and Adam Cimber for Joe Panik and a pitching prospect from the Miami Marlins. The Blue Jays appear ready to make a move for the postseason as Cimber is a nice addition to strengthen their bullpen. As Robert Murray reported earlier this week, both the Blue Jays and Braves have been among the most active teams looking for bullpen help. It will be interesting to see if other moves happen earlier than expected over the next few weeks.
- MLB.com released its latest rookie power rankings, and the Braves Ian Anderson currently is in third in the rankings. It appears it could be a duel between rookie pitchers in the NL East, as Marlins rookie Trevor Rogers tops the rankings as his impressive campaign continues. In the American League, outfield sluggers Randy Arozarena and Adolis Garcia top the charts as a pair of breakout bats that could make the AL race quite interesting.