The Braves have done it!
Ok, Ok, to be fair, nothing is actually done. But what the Braves have done in August has finally resulted in them earning sole possession of first place in the NL East for the first time this season. Atlanta achieved this accomplishment in D.C. over the weekend with a sweep of the Washington Nationals. The Braves are finally finding consistency in beating teams they should beat, and while the starting pitching and bullpen have been good for much of the past month, it is the offense that has finally arrived.
The Braves have now won 10 of their past 12 games over the past two weeks. Newcomers such as Adam Duvall, Jorge Soler, and Joc Pederson have certainly contributed in big ways. However, after Freddie Freeman had an amazing July, Ozzie Albies, Austin Riley, and Dansby Swanson have followed up with awesome individual performances in August. Along with Ronald Acuna Jr., each starter in the Braves infield has 20 home runs, making the Braves the only team with five players who have hit 20 or more home runs on the same team in the MLB this season.
Furthermore, its pretty valid evidence the Braves have the best infield in baseball. Their continued production will obviously play a huge role in the Braves earning a trip to the postseason.
- All of the Braves power displays were needed to get a big victory in D.C as both Drew Smyly and Will Smith once again struggled. However, Austin Riley, both at the plate and in the field, made sure a win was the result.
- Joey Estes, the Braves No. 28 prospect according to MLB.com, had quite the performance on Saturday. He produced 14 strikeouts over a complete game effort. It was one of the best prospect performances over the weekend across baseball.
- As the Braves continue to get good injury news when it comes to young pitchers, another positive development showed up on Sunday:
“Starve your distraction & feed your focus” FL bound pic.twitter.com/bjipLtVGKD— Tucker Davidson (@tucktuck6) August 15, 2021
Though nothing official about the status of Tucker Davidson is available, it is good to see him participating in baseball activities. Hopefully, he will continue to work his way back to good health after suffering an arm injury a few months ago.
- Brad Rowland and Scott Coleman break down all of the great developments from the past week on the latest episode of the Talking Chop Podcast.
- Fernando Tatis Jr. returned to action this weekend, and in the process, made his first start in right field. However, it did not take long for him to remind everyone where he does his most damage as he launched two home runs in Arizona on Sunday.
- While the Braves and Phillies have certainly had success in August, the Mets have ran into a brick wall. They faced old friend Max Scherzer on Sunday night with a less than ideal result in a 14-4 loss. For reference, the Braves were four games behind the Mets 17 days ago. New York is now 2 1⁄2 games behind the Braves.
- It was an exciting day for the future of baseball in the Motor City. Spencer Torkelson and Riley Greene, two of the top prospects in Detroit’s system and all of baseball, were promoted to Triple-A Sunday. This could open the door for the Tigers to welcome both talents to Detroit sometime in 2022.
- In a fun roster move on Sunday, Travis Shaw returned to a familiar place:
It will be interesting to see if any other significant names go to new teams over the next few weeks.