The night started with a few bloops and a wormburner against Max Fried, and it looked like it could be one of those nights.
However, someone decided to lighten the big “Hulk Smash” sign at the center, and the Braves responded quickly and often in an unexpected yet exciting invasion to secure the most solid win of the year.
The three hits Fried previously allowed had a combined exit velocity of 181.1 mph. Realmuto (58.9 mph), Segura (62.7 mph) and Gosselin (59.5 mph).
– Mark Bowman (@mlbbowman) August 22, 2020
Max Fried looked good with two early exteriors. However, in an unmatched innings recently recalled, the BABIP gods decided Phillips needed a bit of luck and gave him a chance to score a run after two grounds and gave Austin Riley a slow roller. Thankfully, Bahadur survived the inning without doing much damage.
The Braves were unable to capitalize on a scoring opportunity in the bottom of the first, with both Fried and Aaron Nola able to work quickly through the second inning. The third inning was not so kind, as once again JT Realmuto connected on a base hit, this time a double to move him and Andrew McKeon. Fortunately, Jean Segura then reached third base to end the threat.
In the bottom of the third, the Braves decided it was time to make a splash. And just for good measure, they decided to make it two splashes in a row. Travis D’Arnaud and Marcel Ozuna connected on a two-run blast and a solo home run, giving the Braves a 3–1 lead. However. The bottom of the order also decided to make some noise, as Johan Camargo doubled in the Austin Riley to make it 4–1. The Phillies ace lost Aaron Nola’s exit before the end of the third inning.
Max Fried quickly worked his way through the top of the fourth, and Bahadur also went down quietly in the fourth inning. After Fried worked around a lead off in the top of the fifth, the Phillies sat down to end their night after the second inning. Five innings, five hits allowed, two walks and five strikes were Fried’s final line. Although he was not as effective in previous outings, it was more than enough as the Braves offense was just starting.
In the bottom of the fifth, Adam Duvall singled, Austin Riley reached on an error, and Duvall then scored on another Camargo RBI double. Ander Itiarte brought Riley home on Riley’s fly. Dansby Swanson arrived on an error that scored Camargo, Freddie Freeman walked, and D’Arnaud got another RBI that scored Swanson. Ozun then stepped into the plate and added a three-run homer to score an eight-run inning that gave Atlanta an 11–1 lead.
After both teams made little noise in the sixth inning, the Phillies added their second run of the night in the top of the seventh. But it was too late yet, as the Braves bullpen held off the Phillies, including a solid outing by Luke Jackson and Chris Martin, and allowed the Braves to win 11–2.
It was the first time Atlanta had scored more than 10 runs since August 4. The fact that it came against Nola, one of the best pitchers in the game so far this year, which previously had considerable success against Atlanta, is no small feat. The strength of this team is the offense, and with questions surrounding the starting staff, that offense needs to be reliable. It notched a win against a rival opponent, and is now halfway to 30 wins with 34 games to play, a positive development for a team that is expected on its way to the playoffs.
Oh …. and another memorable moment happened …
Cristian Pache struggled a bit at the plate to start the game, but found success with his first major league hit. Hopefully, this will be the first of a few thousand or more in the Braves uniform.