Don’t panic, Braves fans, but the home team lost a series.
For the first time since May 30th.
Some fans may be looking at the just-ended series with the Chicago White Sox with some concern, which is understandable. The Braves lost today 8-1, losing a rubber game after falling behind the Sox 6-5 on Saturday. Many observers thought the Braves would have no problems winning the series against the 40-55 Sox. Apparently, the Chicago visitors felt differently.
The Sox come away from this series with an improved .421 average. But they are 12 games out of first place in the AL Central. Their chances of making the playoffs are still questionable.
But it’s a different world for the still first place by a mile Braves. They are still well ahead of the competition in the NL East at .663 pct., compared to the 2nd place Marlins with at .558, and are 9.5 games behind the Braves. So despite losing two games straight against a team they probably should have at least gone 2-3 within the series, the Braves are still in good shape and are headed for yet another postseason appearance.
Want something to worry about anyway? Well, there’s the team’s pitching.
The Braves have had no problems (other than today’s game) manufacturing runs, but lately pitching has not been as on the money as the hitting has. In this game, the Braves’ pitching gave up runs in the second, fourth, and sixth innings, while the Braves bats couldn’t penetrate the Sox’s Dylan Cease‘s pitching, who only gave up a run to the Braves. The team could only watch as the Sox pitcher from Atlanta tossed out batter after Braves batter. The Braves sent six pitchers to the mound today. Three of them collectively were responsible for the 8 runs the Sox scored against them.
On Saturday’s game, Braves pitching couldn’t keep 6 runs off the board. Spencer Strider did well through the first two innings, but ran into trouble in the third, opening the door to a Sox victory after a last at-bat ground ball lead to a double play with Braves runners on second and third base ending the game.
As good as the Braves are now, the pitching really needs to improve in order to keep pace. And the bats need to stay hot. Hopefully, the team’s offensive silence today at Truist Park won’t be a trend in the making.
The Braves vs. Sox series loss ends their streak of 8 straight series wins. They will be looking to get back on track when they face the Arizona Diamondbacks for a three-game series starting this Tuesday.