If nothing else, the Braves certainly answered one question question about themselves as July came to a close.
This team may be the most accurate definition of a .500 team in baseball history.
#Braves are 8-9 since the break, and have neither won nor lost consecutive games in that span, a new MLB record for such absurdities. (Their streak officially started with win in Game 2 after break, since they lost last game before break and first game after break.)— David O'Brien (@DOBrienATL) August 1, 2021
Once again, after the Braves played with great balance in a 8-1 victory on Saturday, they missed out on multiple scoring opportunities on Sunday and lost 2-1. The Braves have swapped wins and losses for 17 straight games, the longest stretch of its kind in MLB history. While the Braves have missed chance after chance to make up ground in the NL East, they also have fortunately remain only four games back of the Mets.
Sunday’s loss marked the 20th time this year the Braves have lost a game by one run, the third most in the majors behind Arizona and Miami. However, the Braves pitching has been quite productive. While the starting rotation was above average for the month of July, the Braves bullpen finished fourth in ERA and sixth in FIP among relief units.
The big key for the Braves is the need to get better in situational hitting. On far too many occasions, the Braves have not been able to deliver with runners in scoring position and one or less outs in the inning. Though Austin Riley and Freddie Freeman have done their part, the rest of the team has struggled mightily in these situations. The Braves have to get better in these situations in order to start making up ground in the division race.
- Though the Braves had good success against NL Cy Young candidates Brandon Woodruff and Corbin Burnes, Atlanta could not figure out Brett Anderson. Charlie Morton certainly pitched well enough for the Braves to win, but the offense went 1-9 with runners in scoring position.
- In more positive news, the rehab assignments for both Travis d’Arnaud and Huascar Ynoa began this weekend. While d’Arnaud had a bit of success in two starts for the Stripers in Memphis, Ynoa did not have the best of debuts in Rome:
In his first rehab start Sunday at High-A Rome, #Braves' Huascar Ynoa allowed eight hits and six runs (all earned) in two innings, with one walk and two strikeouts. 51 pitches/35 strikes.— David O'Brien (@DOBrienATL) August 2, 2021
Though the results were not pretty, the hope is that Ynoa can be somewhat close to the amazing asset he was at the beginning of the year in time.
- While the month of July had its (daily) ups and downs, the Braves finished the month with three players among the top 15 most value NL position players in terms of fWAR in the month of July. Freddie Freeman, Austin Riley, and Dansby Swanson each did their part in helping the Braves earn some needed victories.
- As part of Hank Aaron weekend over the past few days in Atlanta, Major League Baseball made commitments to establish new and improved baseball sites across the city in Aaron’s honor.
- Though the trade deadline and new places arriving in new places dominated most of the headlines, the big story on Sunday was an acquisition that did not happen regarding the MLB Draft. Taking tenth overall, the Mets did not reach an agreement with former Vanderbilt pitcher Kumar Rocker.
- Former Cubs Anthony Rizzo, Javier Baez, and Kris Bryant made a bit of history over the weekend. All three sluggers hit a home run in their first games with the Yankees, Mets, and Giants, respectively, after being traded away from the friendly confines of Wrigley field.
- The Dodgers offense erupted for 13 runs in a win over Arizona Sunday. However, the big development was the return of outfielder Mookie Betts from the injured list. Betts hit a home run in his return to action.
- While Betts returned from the IL on Sunday, there are still plenty of names around the major leagues dealing with injuries. MLB.com provided updates on some of the more notable talents that are working their way back to health.