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Wright has the wrong stuff as Red Sox pummel Braves, 9-4

Well that could’ve gone a lot better, huh?

Boston Red Sox v Atlanta Braves Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Kyle Wright’s worst start of the season and a terrible relief stint from Tyler Thornburg combined to help spell defeat for the Braves on this night. The Red Sox scored six runs in the second inning and then added three more in the ninth to pick up a 9-4 win over Atlanta.

The first inning of this game actually went swimmingly on the mound for Kyle Wright, as he sat down the Red Sox in order on nine pitches. Meanwhile, the Braves had a scoring opportunity in the first inning as Ronald Acuña Jr. found himself at third base with just one out. The Braves didn’t score, but they did force Garrett Whitlock to throw a ton of pitches just to escape the frame with the game still scoreless.

Unfortunately, the Braves probably could’ve used a run in the first inning because Kyle Wright got lit up in the second inning. After getting the leadoff batter out on a grounder, the next five Red Sox batters all reached base. Alex Verdugo got the first RBI on a hard hit ball up the middle and then Wright somehow walked Jackie Bradley Jr. to make it 2-0. After the Braves traded an out at home plate in exchange for the bases still being loaded with two out, Rafael Devers came up to the plate with a rare opportunity here in 2022 to do some serious damage. He didn’t miss his opportunity and the Braves were suddenly in a six-run hole in the second inning.

From then on out, the Braves found themselves having to scratch and claw their way out of this massive deficit. It didn’t take too long for them to respond, as they gave an answer in the bottom of the third inning following a scoreless top half. Matt Olson led things off with a double off of the bricks in right-center field and then following a wild pitch and a walk, the Braves had runners on the corners. Marcell Ozuna cashed in Olson with a sacrifice fly and then Travis d’Arnaud cashed in both himself and Austin Riley with a two-run bomb to left-center field to get Atlanta back in the game.

Both teams traded scoreless innings (with the Braves going into the bullpen with two outs in the fifth inning) until the seventh inning, which is when Atlanta found themselves with another scoring opportunity. Ronald Acuña Jr. made it on base for the third time in this game with his second walk of the contest and then he went first-to-third thanks to a single from Matt Olson. With the heart of the order up and nobody out, this seemed like a prime opportunity for the Braves to have an emphatic inning at the plate. Instead, they managed to scrape by with just one run after Acuña scored on a force out at second base. It was a letdown but at least the Braves had cut a little bit deeper into what was once a huge lead for Boston.

The game stayed 6-4 in favor of Boston until the top of the ninth inning, which is when things got out of hand for Atlanta on the mound once again. This time it was Tyler Thornburg’s turn to pitch a nightmare frame, as each of the first five batters he faced all reached base. Thornburg walked Verdugo (making this the second time in the game Boston scored a run via a walk) and then gave up a two-run single to the currently-slumping Trevor Story to push Boston’s lead back to five. Following the usage of Tyler Matzek and A.J. Minter out of the bullpen, it was an incredibly curious decision from Brian Snitker to go to Tyler Thornburg in this particular situation, but I suppose none of us would’ve been complaining here on the internet had Thornburg thrown yet another scoreless inning.

Either way, that poor inning basically killed off any realistic chance the Braves and it was basically the story of the entire game. Atlanta was essentially doomed by two really bad innings of pitching, and it’s definitely concerning that they got hit so hard by a team that was really struggling to consistently score runs coming into this game. It was also a bummer to see Kyle Wright finally get punished on the mound for not having his best stuff. With that being said, I’m still pretty certain that this is just going to be a blip on his radar and as is usual with baseball at this point in the season, there’s always tomorrow.