After receiving their 2021 World Series rings, the Atlanta Braves played up to the occasion by immediately putting a pair of runs on the board. Those two runs were enough for Kyle Wright and the rest of Atlanta’s pitching staff to beat the Reds 2-1 and also go over .500 much earlier than they did last season.
First, let’s talk about the rings. The ring ceremony pushed the start time back by approximately 17 minutes, but hoo boy, it was worth it. The rings were given out to the front office executives, team staff, coaches and players. To paraphrase a quote from a famous show about nothing, the rings are real and they’re spectacular. Feast your eyes on these, and good luck to whoever has to figure out a way to top these in the future:
After the Braves got their rings, it was time for the action and the home team wasted no time jumping on top of their opposition. Matt Olson, Austin Riley and Marcell Ozuna all strung together three consecutive hits, with Ozuna’s double plating Olson to make it 1-0 Braves. Ozzie Albies followed that up with a sacrifice fly to make it 2-0 and that was it for Atlanta when it came to the first inning.
As far as scoring was concerned, that was it for the Braves for the rest of this game. They certainly had their chances though — two chances, in particular. In the third inning, Matt Olson reached base on a walk and eventually it was Marcell Ozuna’s turn to drive him home again. Sure enough, Ozuna hit a double down the third base line and Matt Olson got the green light to try and get to home plate once again. Unfortunately, Olson was far too late to make it home and got victimized by a really good relay play from the Reds. Ozzie grounded out to end that scoring threat with Ozuna stranded on second base.
Then we had Deja Vu in the seventh inning. This time, Matt Olson had a 90-foot head start as he had hit a gapper for a double to reach base with two outs on the board. After Austin Riley walked, Marcell Ozuna found some green once again and the race was on for Olson to finally get his second run of the night. This time, the Reds didn’t need a relay — Aristides Aquino did the heavy lifting here, as his massive 101.6 mph throw from the outfield beat Olson to the plate and the Braves lost out on another run. It was truly a majestic throw but also, nobody’s ever confused Matt Olson for an Olympic sprinter, you know?
Fortunately for the Braves, the two runs were all that Kyle Wright needed. Kyle Wright picked up where he left off in the 2021 World Series, which means that we saw Wright at his best tonight. After A.J. Minter finished off the seventh inning for him, Wright finished with six scoreless innings under his belt. Additionally, Kyle only gave up two hits and racked up six strikeouts. His only walk came against the final batter he faced tonight. Other than ending the night on a walk, it sure seemed like Wright was getting better as the game went on. The sixth inning in particular was a standout inning, as he was truly dealing out some nasty stuff for Reds batters to deal with in that particular frame. It’s only one start but here’s hoping that this version of Kyle Wright is the one that’s here to stay.
Kyle Wright, Bowel Locking Breaking Ball. pic.twitter.com/4xg0Yowlxk— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) April 10, 2022
Despite being in firm control of this game, the 2-0 scoreline meant that this was still a very tight game as it neared the end. It eventually came down to Will Smith making his first appearance of the season in order to close out the game. For the second night in a row, the 27th out of the game didn’t come without drama. Tommy Pham reached base with his second walk of the evening and then he made it to second when Will Smith balked.
That allowed future Hall-of-Famer Joey Votto to make a mockery of the shift that was on for him as he hit it to the left and brought home Pham to cut Atlanta’s lead in half. The good news is that Will Smith didn’t waste too much time after that as he got Aristides Aquino to pop out in foul territory to give the Braves their second win of the year.
For Atlanta, I’m sure everybody in that clubhouse who was here in 2021 is extremely relieved to know that it won’t take them over 100 games to get over .500 in 2022. Instead, it only took the Braves three games, as they are now 2-1. They will have a chance to take the series against Cincinnati with a win tomorrow afternoon, but now I’m wondering how all of these people are going to go to sleep since their beautiful new World Series rings will surely be shining bright as day even at night. Anyways, picking up the win was the perfect way to end this memorable night.