Bullpen spoils Braves night, cutting NL East lead to just 2.5; Royber Salinas strikes out 10 for FCL club

Wednesday, September 1, 2021

-Clint Manry

It feels like it’s been awhile, but the Braves bullpen ruined another late-game lead on Tuesday, dropping Game 2 versus the Dodgers by a score of 3-2.

Following two strong innings from Braves starter Charlie Mortin (featuring four strikeouts and only a double by LA), Joc Pederson got the scoring started for Atlanta with a solo-homer in the third. How the hell he was able to get his bat to the ball… who knows.

The Braves struck again in the fourth. Austin Riley came through with a one-out single, and Travis d’Arnaud followed up with a double to push Riley across home plate. With a 2-0 advantage and Morton looking sharp thus far, it appeared Atlanta was on their way to a series split. But unfortunately Mookie Betts had something different in mind…

Betts homer was really the only mistake of the night for Morton, who managed to throw 106 pitches and induce seven groundouts compared to just one flyout. However, once he walked off the mound after six quality innings, the Braves bullpen began to implode.

First, it was Luke Jackson in the seventh, surrendering a sac-fly off the bat of LA’s Chris Taylor (despite actually throwing a very nice pitch)…

Then, to break the 2-2 tie and put the Dodgers up, lefty Tyler Matzek allowed an RBI double by Corey Seager, who somehow managed to turn on a 98-MPH fastball on the outside corner…

Following the go-ahead drive by Seager, Matzek was able to get out of the jam, which should be appreciated given the Braves had its nos. 4-6 batters coming up in the ninth. However, a quick 1-2-3 inning for closer Kenley Jansen was all she wrote as Riley popped out and both d’Arnaud and Dansby Swanson struck out. Braves lose.

It really isn’t a good time for Atlanta to lose two in a row, either, as both Philly and the Mets are currently on winning streaks of their own. Last night’s loss cuts the Braves’ division lead to just 2.5 games. The Phillies are definitely closing in, but hopefully Atlanta can somewhat keep the walls from closing in with a win tonight. It’s going to be a tough one. The two Maxes will face off as Max Fried opposes Max Scherzer on Wednesday. First pitch is scheduled for 10:10 PM (ET) tonight.

My work schedule has been crazy this week, plus all but Augusta and the FCL team were either rained out or canceled due to COVID on Tuesday. So today will feature just scores and stats…

(70-61) Atlanta Braves

L, 3-2 vs. Dodgers

SP, C. Morton – 6 IP, 3 H, ER, 2 BB, 8 K, HR

CF, J. Pederson – 1 for 2, HR, RBI

C, T. d’Arnaud – 1 for 4, 2B, RBI

3B, A. Riley – 2 for 4, R

(58-44) Gwinnett Stripers

PPD vs. Memphis (Rain)

(58-39) Mississippi Braves

PPD vs. Biloxi (COVID-19)

(46-55) Rome Braves

PPD vs. Winston-Salem (Wet grounds)

(42-61) Augusta GreenJackets

L, 6-4 vs. Fayetteville

SP, R. Rodriguez – (L), 4.2 IP, 7 H, 6 ER, BB, K, HR

3B, J-H. Malloy – 2 for 4, HR, 2 RBI

1B, C. Bunnell – 2 for 3, HR, RBI, SB

RF, C. Robinson – 2 for 4, 2B, RBI

SS, V. Grissom – 1 for 4

(22-22) FCL Braves

L, 8-5 (F/7) vs. Pirates Gold

L, 11-8 (F/8) vs Pirates Gold

SP, K. Anglin – 2 IP, H, ER, 2 BB, HR

SP, R. Salinas – 4 IP, 2 H, 3 ER, BB, 10 K, HR

1B, M. Backstrom – 1 for 3, HR, RBI

RF, B. Mezquita – 3 for 4, HR, 4 RBI, BB

2B, C. Durbin – 1 for 3, 3B, RBI, R

3B, F. Floyd – 1 for 3, 2B

CF, T. Collins – 2 for 4, 2B, R

CF, J. Palma – 3 for 5, RBI, 2 R, SB

2B, E. Stevens – 2 for 5, RBI, SB

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