The Atlanta Braves recently completed one of the team’s best stretches in quite some time but, after an off day and back-to-back losses, that “momentum” is officially gone. On Tuesday, Luiz Gohara and the Braves fell to Max Scherzer and the Washington Nationals by a final score of 4-2.
After a quiet start to the evening on both sides, Gohara ran into a wall in the third inning. He allowed four hits and two runs to send Atlanta into a hole, though it was relatively impressive that he was able to pitch out of it to some extent.
In fact, Gohara managed to navigate 6.1 innings of work and he allowed only two additional runs after the hiccup in the third frame. The first run came in the fifth and, technically, it was of the unearned variety based on an error by fellow youngster Rio Ruiz. However, the fourth run was something of a backbreaker in the seventh and that chased Gohara from the contest.
The offense, though, was not able to do enough to secure victory on this night. Three straight singles from Freddie Freeman, Nick Markakis and Kurt Suzuki (on a 10-pitch plate appearance) cut into Washington’s lead with a run in the fourth and Dansby Swanson plated a run with an RBI double in the fifth.
There was some optimism at that point but the insurance run in the seventh placed the Braves in a hole they could not emerge from on this night. The team had three innings to overcome the two-run deficit but Atlanta managed only one base-runner in total and a threat never materialized.
In the end, only Suzuki reached based on more than one occasion and it was an uneven offensive performance. That sort of thing happens against a high-end pitcher like Scherzer but it will be interesting to see how the team responds on Wednesday.
Lastly, Ender Inciarte left the game prior to the fifth inning with what appears to be an aggravation of his previously injured thumb.
Ender Inciarte left tonight's game due to left thumb soreness. He is day-to-day.— Atlanta Braves (@Braves) September 20, 2017
More details on Inciarte will likely emerge in the near future but, for now, his status is uncertain as the two teams lead into tomorrow’s game. Stay tuned.