Tuesday night was a great start to a very meaningful home stand for the Braves.
After a day off on Monday, the Braves offense certainly showed signs that it was rejuvenated and ready to roll. While Adam Duvall delivered early, Ozzie Albies made sure the win was secured late. Though Max Fried, despite only allowing one run through six innings, and especially Tyler Matzek did not have their best stuff last night, the Braves offense did more than enough to get the win.
Another small but significant development was that both Freddie Freeman and Dansby Swanson produced two hits and two runs apiece. The day off after a tough road trip for both players seemed to have a positive impact. However, the major contributions were from Albies, who surpassed 90 RBIs for the season last night. Albies became the first second baseman aged 24 years or younger to produce 25 home runs and 90 RBIs in a season since Hall of Famer Joe Gordon did it in back to back seasons in 1938 and 1939 for the Yankees. As deep as the Braves lineup has become, it will need to remain consistent to make the most of the opportunity that awaits it during this home stand.
Atlanta experienced a great first step on Tuesday night with a win and expandig their lead to 2 1⁄2 games above the Phillies in the NL East.
- While Fried struggled at times last night, he certainly has been among the best pitchers in the National League in the second half of the season:
Fried has posted a 1.97 ERA over 10 starts since the All-Star break. The only NL pitchers to enter today w/ a lower ERA w/in this span were Scherzer, Logan Webb and Wainwright— Mark Bowman (@mlbbowman) September 8, 2021
The combination of Fried and Charlie Morton has turned into one of the best starting rotation duos in the majors over the past few months.
- After the game, the Braves updated their plans for tonight’s game against the Nationals:
Drew Smyly will be available out of the bullpen— Kris Willis (@Kris_Willis) September 8, 2021
The inclusion of both Drew Smyly and Touki Toussaint in this tweet is perhaps more than just a coincidence. With the struggles both pitchers have had as they navigated through batting orders a second and third time this season, the Braves could have a plan where Toussaint and Smyly both work multiple innings against the Nationals tonight.
- Over at The Athletic, Keith Law wrote a wonderful article detailing the main reasons Austin Riley has experienced a successful break out this season. A few years after questioning Riley’s potential in the big leagues, Law ended the article by calling Riley a star.
- A day after his new extension with the Braves, Charlie Morton seemed thrilled that his time with Atlanta will go beyond this year.
- As scoreboard watching will be a daily theme for the next month or so, the Brewers blasted the Phillies 10-0 on Tuesday while the Mets beat the Marlins. Philadelphia is now 2 1⁄2 games back of Atlanta while New York remains at four games behind in the standings.
- The Toronto Blue Jays are on a roll to make the American League playoff picture even more crowded after their sixth victory in a row on Tuesday.
- Though it was not his first time back in St. Louis since he left over a decade ago, Albert Pujols once again returned to his former stomping grounds and delivered a memorable home run in the process.
- Today will be a special day for Major League Baseball, as the 2020 MLB Hall of Fame class will be inducted into Cooperstown. After a longer than expected wait, Derek Jeter, Larry Walker, Ted Simmons, and Marvin Miller will finally be enshrined into the Hall of Fame this afternoon.