The Atlanta Braves lost to the Nationals Thursday night 13-4. Logically, having a rookie face Stephen Strasburg typically does not give you the best of odds. As a result, what most expected to happen did.
Expected is the key word in that sentence for me. The Braves are a team now that their fans and many around the world of baseball expect to win, even in games where their odds are not the greatest. As a result, three losses in a row comes as quite a surprise, no matter how easy the losses are to explain.
However, there is one thing to remember. Nothing about tonight or the past three losses in a row has changed how good this team is. Sure, the losses and the injuries have not come at an ideal time. That happens. The good thing is that tomorrow is a new day, and with this offense, we have a good chance to win. That is the beauty of how well this team has played over the past two months. That level of play is also the reason Braves fans should have all the confidence in the world this team will bounce back.
The night is not without its concerns. Kyle Wright, Touki Toussaint, and A.J. Minter all struggled mightily in their appearances. Walks continue to plague Wright and Toussaint, while Minter simply is given up significantly harder contact than he was last year. While unfortunate, the reality is that the Braves have more than enough proof that it will be hard to rely on these three going forward. That reality hopefully will impact decisions the Braves make to improve the roster in the near future.
The one memory from tonight was Charlie Culberson’s continued development. The man threw a change-up up in the zone to Anthony Rendon. Sure, it was taken for a ball, but that confidence baffled Rendon (probably). Culberson would proceed to get Rendon and Juan Soto to hit into outs.
All joking aside, this is simply a game to forget. The key is get back to playing at a level that makes it easy to forget. Atlanta right now is facing adversity, and with each loss the room for error becomes smaller. With Teheran on the mound and the Braves facing a lefty, even if it is one as talented as Patrick Corbin, the Braves offense and bullpen need to regroup and regain their confidence to perform.
Each and every one of the players and coaches know that. This team will be fine. There simply needs to be urgency to take advantage of the opportunity they have in front of them now to make it easier for them to reach their true potential as a team as the season progresses.