Braves winning streak ends against Yankees despite another strong outing by Huascar Ynoa

Tuesday, August 24, 2021

-Clint Manry

The winning streak finally came to an end on Monday as the Braves fell to the Yankees 5-1. However, for Huascar Ynoa, it was once again a strong showing as he appears primed to to finish the season strong. In his second outing since returning from the IL, Ynoa lasted six innings last night and threw 60 of 93 pitches for a strike, including nine strikeouts, one walk and only three runs allowed from four hits. The 23-year-old has looked a lot like his old self since returning on August 17…

Huascar Ynoa since returning from IL

2 starts, 11.1 IP, 10.3 K/9, 1.5 BB/9, 2.38 ERA, 2.82 FIP

Overall, the Braves offense scuffled a bit on Monday as the entire lineup tallied just five hits for the night. A solo-homer by Dansby Swanson in the second inning was all Atlanta could muster versus Yankees starter Jordan Montgomery. However, for Swanson, it was yet another example of how much he’s improved this year as he walloped a first-pitch breaking ball for a 408-foot dinger (the furthest hit ball of the game).

In the end, though, the Yankees lineup was just too dangerous. New York’s no. 5 hitter, right fielder Giancarlo Stanton, ended up finishing the night 2 for 3 with a homer and a double to go with three RBI, and catcher Gary Sanchez added two ribbies as well.

Ending such an exciting winning streak is disappointing, but let’s not lose sight of the bigger picture. Thanks to all of those wins they banked up over the last few weeks, the Braves still lead the division by 4.5 games. Even better, Atlanta has a very good shot at splitting this series with New York, given a red-hot Charlie Morton will take the mound today against a struggling Andrew Heaney. The streak may have died, but the Braves are far from done!

Huascar Ynoa looks sharp in return for Atlanta; Drew Lugbauer slugs grand-slam in M-Braves win 

Wednesday, August 18, 2021

-Clint Manry

It was a three-month wait, but righty Huascar Ynoa made his highly anticipated return last night for the Braves… and the kid pitched well. Ynoa lasted all the way into the sixth inning on Wednesday, which, due to his absence, is pretty impressive.

Ynoa threw 53 of 80 pitches for a strike and did a nice job of keeping the ball in the infield. After working around a single by Miami’s Brian Anderson in the second frame, Atlanta’s righty didn’t allow another hit until the sixth, when a knock by Miguel Rojas chased him. 

From there, relievers Tyler Matzek, Chris Martin, Luke Jackson and Will Smith combined to finish the final 3.2 innings. The Braves bullpen was sharp, allowing just one hit altogether to go with five strikeouts and no walks. 

Offensively it was Jorge Soler who put Atlanta up in the eighth. The newly-acquired outfielder has been a blessing since his arrival…

In the final frame, third baseman (and a sneaky candidate NL MVP) Austin Riley added another run to the Braves lead when he belted his 26th home run of the year…

All-in-all, it was a pretty unexciting game as both the Braves and Marlins combined for just 10 hits. However, it was great to see Atlanta’s pitching once again come through with a stingy performance. 

Now into Wednesday, the Braves lead the division by 2.5 games as both the Phillies and Mets lost their respective games yesterday. The Braves are rolling, folks!

Down on the farm, righty Ian Anderson made his third rehab start since returning from an injury. The young pitcher wasn’t as crisp as usual, needing nearly 80 pitches to get through 4.1 innings on Tuesday, but Anderson still managed to get through the outing in scoreless fashion. 

In the opening frame, Johan Camargp continued his incredible Triple-A season by putting Gwinnett up by two with a homer…

In the next inning, Ryan Goins joined the fun with a long ball of his own, putting the Stripers up 3-0…

Of course it’s not a party until Orlando Arcia gets involved, and in the third he went deep as well, slugging his 17th homer of the season…

Following Arcia’s homer, though, things got a little chippy. Louisville’s pitcher threw a ball behind Camargo’s back, and in the end, several Stripers and Bats players wound up getting ejected…

No one was hurt… and eventually Gwinnett held on to the win.

For the M-Braves, starter Alan Rangel continued his strong 2021 season by tossing another quality-start against Montgomery…

Rangel is now down to a 4.24 ERA at the Double-A level as he’s made some impressive strides on the mound this year. 

The play of the night, though, has to go to first baseman Drew Lugbauer, who made my Midseason Braves Top 30 earlier this month. Lugbauer belted a grand-slam in the fifth inning, giving him 15 homers now in 2021…

The trio of Odalvi Javier (who I guess is now a reliever), Indigo Diaz and Matt Withrow finished the game by working together for three scoreless innings. 

Rome was rained out, though the R-Braves and Greenville will play a doubleheader today.

Down in Single-A, the GreenJackets were routed by Carolina, although Augusta’s offense did well by tallying 12 hits combined. Save for Cade Bunnell, every batter in the GreenJackets lineup recorded at least one hit, including 2021 draftees Cal Conley, Justyn-Henry Malloy and Christian Robinson. 

Rainiery Rodriguez got the start for Augusta on Tuesday, but he struggled mightily and allowed six runs (five earned) from a dozen hits in five innings. Reliever Kenny Wells struggled as well, and by the time Peyton Williams came in for garbage time in the ninth, Augusta was already trailing by six runs. 

The FCL Braves shutout the Orioles Orange team, thanks to some strong pitching. Reibyn Corona started and was sharp, but then five Braves relievers came in and dominated, combining to allow just one hit over six innings, including six strikeouts. 

Mahki Backstrom had a solid game and picked up a double, as well as Jose Palma. Also, 2021 draftee, and the Braves lead-off hitter, Tyler Collins contributed with a triple. Overall, the Braves out-hit the Orioles by a tally of 10-2 as the rookie team continues to play well down in Florida.


W, 2-0 vs. Marlins

SP, H. Ynoa – 5.1 IP, 3 H, BB, 4 K

3B, A. Riley – 2 for 4, HR, RBI

RF, J. Soler – 1 for 4, RBI

1B, F. Freeman – 2 for 4


W, 4-2 vs. Louisville 

SP, I. Anderson – 4.1 IP, 4 H, BB, 6 K

1B, J. Camargo – 1 for 3, HR, 2 RBI

SS, O. Arcia – 2 for 4, HR, RBI

3B, R. Goins – 1 for 3, HR, RBI


W, 9-3 vs. Montgomery 

SP, A. Rangel – (W), 6 IP, 6 H, 3 ER, 6 K

1B, D. Lugbauer – 1 for 5, HR (GS), 4 RBI

2B, J. Miller – 1 for 5, 2B, RBI

C, S. Langeliers – 2 for 4, 2B, 2 R, BB

LF, T. Harris – 2 for 4, 2B, RBI, 2 R

CF, J. Dean – 3 for 5, 3B, 3 R


PPD vs. Greenville 


L, 10-4 vs. Carolina 

SP, R. Rodriguez – (L), 5 IP, 12 H, 5 ER, 3 K

DH, W. Carter – 2 for 3, 2B, RBI, R, 2 SB

RF, C. Robinson – 1 for 4, 2B, R

CF, S. Paolini – 2 for 3, 2B, RBI, R, 2 SB

C, R. Rodriguez – 1 for 4, RBI 

(2021 draftee)

(17-15) FCL Braves

W, 5-0 vs. Orioles Orange

SP, R. Corona – 4 IP, H, BB, 2 K

1B, M. Backstrom – 1 for 4, 2B

LF, J. Palma – 2 for 4, 2B, R

CF, T. Collins – 1 for 4, 3B, RBI, R

SS, G. Quintero – 1 for 3, RBI, R, SB

(2021 draftee)

Young starting pitching has been a bright spot in what’s been a disappointing 2021 for the Braves 

I’ve never been too good with timing, so I’m aware that immediately following a 20-2 rout over the Mets, this particular post is perhaps a bit unnecessary at this point. But even with an 18-run victory last night and a respectable 5-5 record over their last 10 games, the Braves 2021 season has been a complete disaster. And unfortunately, wins like Wednesdays keep pulling us back in, fooling us into thinking that the team will turn it around. Isn’t it great being a fan?

However, despite Atlanta’s incredible inability to even play .500 ball this season, resulting in their current third-place standing in the NL East and below-15-percent odds at making the postseason, there is one thing that has created some enjoyment: their young starting pitching. 

Huascar Ynoa 

Prior to his self-inflicted injury and the disappointing outing that caused it (on May 16), Ynoa was among the 15-best starters in baseball in terms of run prevention. As he walked off the mound following six innings of solid work versus Philadelphia back on May 9, the then-22-year-old — he turned 23 on May 28 — sported a stingy 2.29 ERA in his first 39 ⅓ innings as a regular starter in the Braves rotation and was a winner of four-straight decisions. 

Maybe it was because of his contributions on offense, which featured a .353 AVG with two homers and six RBI in 17 PA, or perhaps the team just loved playing behind him. But for some reason, Atlanta just simply played better overall when Ynoa was on the mound. His four consecutive wins mentioned above illustrate it, but the Braves not only won with him… they usually won handily, outscoring opponents 55-24 in games he started (up until the final one, in which he hurt himself).

Ynoa was an underdog even to be included in the starting staff entering the 2021 regular season. Not only did he make it, but he also put together an incredible stretch of dominance on the mound (and power at the plate). August can’t come soon enough…

Ian Anderson

At least in terms of his impact on the Braves, much of what I just wrote about Ynoa can also be said for Anderson (except for the offense part). Not only did the former third-overall pick post a 3.46 ERA during that same month-long span mentioned above for Ynoa, but Atlanta won five of Anderson’s first seven starts.

Given the incredible year he had in 2020 and a pair of good but not great outings in the middle of April, there was some concern that perhaps Anderson was headed for much more regression than anticipated in 2021. However, that hasn’t been the case. In fact, since Ynoa went down with his injury, Anderson has been the best starter in the rotation, narrowly logging more fWAR than Charlie Morton since we received the horrible news regarding Huascar back in mid-May. For a kid in his 20s to again put the staff on his back, even though he hasn’t quite dominated opposing batters as he did a year ago, it just shows that Anderson definitely has the talent to be a team ace. 

Tucker Davidson 

Until his most recent outing, a June 15 start versus Boston in which it was clear something wasn’t right with him (ending with five earned runs in 2 ⅓ innings), the 25-year-old Davidson was on a helluva ride with the Braves as he was finally receiving consistent opportunities to showcase his talent in the majors. The dreadful performance against the Red Sox quickly made sense when it was reported that he’d sustained a forearm injury, an ailment we now know will keep him out until at least August. 

However, during the three starts leading up to that unfortunate injury, Davidson was nearly unhittable. He posted a 1.53 ERA, with strong performances against the Mets, Nationals, and Phillies — although the Braves somehow lost all but one of those. Reaching the 6th inning in all of those outings, it was clear that Davidson had made some impressive strides, and if given a chance, could help lead the Braves to a playoff spot down the stretch. The young southpaw can still become a big part of Atlanta’s postseason push; it’ll just have to be during the final month or two of the regular season. 

Kyle Muller 

After a slow start in Triple-A Gwinnett, Muller started garnering attention when he put together a three-start stretch down in the minors in late May to early June in which he struck out 20 batters in 16 innings and held opponents to a .148 AVG, leading to a mid-June call-up to The Show. Of course, the Braves manager had to make the big lefty’s debut as difficult as possible as Brian Snitker called on Muller in the 5th inning of a one-run ball game against Boston. Still, as we know, more opportunities presented themselves later on.

Since that relief appearance versus the Red Sox, Muller has made two solid starts with Atlanta, combining nine total innings of two-hit ball, going with one run allowed and 12 strikeouts against both the Mets and Reds. That most recent outing versus the Reds featured a five-inning one-hitter in which Muller punched out nine and walked two. For a guy with some concerning control issues in the past, this kid is trending up, and even better… he’s healthy.

The contributions of this quartet of 25 and under has, in their own respective ways and at different junctures in the season, really been the only bright spots for the Braves so far in 2021. And though there’s plenty of season left, it’s not like we’re just getting started. 

So there’s a way for the Braves to, in fact, turn this around, but it’s likely going to require more strong pitching from the young guns.