The good news about today’s game is that Mike Soroka had a pretty good return to the big leagues, as he went five innings and struck out six while giving up two walks. Unfortunately, he didn’t exactly come out of the gates firing on all cylinders as his first inning was one that we’d like to forget.
After getting a quick out to start the game, Soroka gave up two singles in a row and then threw a wild pitch to move both runners into scoring position. This culminated with Adam Jones getting a productive groundout to bring in the first run of the day. Soroka was able to limit the damage to just that one run, but Arizona’s one run ended up holding up for most of the day.
That’s because the Braves’ bats just couldn’t figure out Luke Weaver today. He got battered by the Braves the last time he came to SunTrust Park, so it appears as if Weaver came to SunTrust Park with vengeance on his mind. He went five innings just like Mike Soroka did, but he finished with nine strikeouts and just one walk. The Braves did get four hits off of him, but they were unable to string any of those hits into a meaningful rally, so the Braves didn’t put any runs on the board while Weaver was out there.
Yet again, this game came down to which team’s bullpen could avoid calamity and once again, it ended up being the Braves who were the first to crumble. Chad Sobotka entered the game in the seventh inning and after getting the first out of the inning with no problem, he gave up a single and then Christian Walker continued his domination of the Braves in this series by hitting another homer.
The damage didn’t stop there. Tim Locastro walked, stole a base and then made it to third after Johan Camargo capped off a rough day at third base with a throwing error. Then Nick Ahmed entered as a pinch-hitter and promptly delivered a ground-rule double down the left field line to score Arizona’s third run of the inning. That was finally enough for Brian Snitker, as Chad Sobotka exited the game to a smattering of boos from the matinee crowd at SunTrust Park. That’s been a familiar reception for Braves relievers as of late, huh.
Fortunately, the Braves didn’t get shut out today. Freddie Freeman made sure of that as he launched a bomb out into right field for Atlanta’s only run of the game. They got another baserunner on in the ninth inning, but they were unable to cash him in and the Braves ended up getting swept by the Diamondbacks.
The sweep was definitely a big shock when you consider how well the team was playing heading into this series, but it makes sense when you consider that each game the Braves lost was a direct result of the bullpen failing to keep runs off of the board. If anything, this series should be an eye-opener when it comes to the franchise potentially taking steps to do something about the bullpen, because this is absolutely a problem at the moment.