Braves Underwhelm In NLDS Loss to Phillies

The Atlanta Braves came into the National League Divisional Series with hopes of redemption against the Philadelphia Phillies for last year’s NLDS early defeat and to clear a path to their third World Series Championship.

But those hopes ran up against a wall of Phillies pitching and their own mistakes that shut down the Braves in their own home field in front of a sellout crowd primed for a Braves victory. The Braves wound up losing to the Phillies 0 to 3 in Truist Park Saturday night.

For the Phillies, it was the seventh straight first-game victory. Only the Twins and the Giants (8), Yankees (9), and Browns/Orioles (12) had more.

Braves pitcher Spencer Strider did well, striking out eight and giving up a single home run in his seven innings of service. But the one mistake that drove Strider out of the game was an errant throw that missed its target and landed in the camera well. It was for a pickoff attempt he made on a 0-2 count with two outs in the fourth inning. Bryce Harper then scored on a Bryson Stott RBI. Strider was pulled off the mound in the seventh inning and was seen jawboning Braves pitching coach Rick Kranitz on video.

But the Braves’ offense sputtered all night long. They stranded five runners on base and were unable to launch a home run, something that seemed to come easier to them in the regular season. The Braves loaded up the bases in the eighth inning but could not bring a run home.

As if the flustration in Truist wasn’t palpable enough with the Braves own lackluster performance, an umpire called Braves catcher Sean Murphy on interference, and a Phillies run scored as a result. Some agitated Braves fans threw trash onto the field.

This was only the second time the Braves were shut out in their home field, the last being against the Blue Jays on May 12. Tonight also ends the Braves 124 game streak of at least one home run per game.

Much will be made about the officiating decision and the fan reaction to it, but it’s clear the Braves offense did not rise to the occasion on Game 1, or else the call would not have been consequential. Now the Braves have a mountain to climb. They lost the first game in a best-of-five NLDS series. Now the Braves must face at least one game against the Phillies on their home field, with their famously raucous crowd, to get to the NLCS.

The next game is Monday, first pitch 7:06 pm at Truist Park.

NLDS GAME ONE: Braves vs Phillies, By The Numbers  (Phillies lead 1-0)

Team Inning 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Runs Hits Error Left On Base
Braves 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 5 2 7
Phillies 0 0 0 1 0 1 0 1 x 3 6 0 7

WP: Hoffman (Phillies) 1-0, 0.00 ERA   Save: Kimbrel (Phillies) 2, 0.00 ERA

LP: Strider (Braves) 0-1, 1.29 ERA