After (another) annoying loss on Sunday and apparently a rough night at the hotel, the Braves began their road trip with a series in Milwaukee and they would certainly have liked to get off to a good start with a win in the first game.
The Braves had a bit of a weird top of the first, as they had two baserunners from a .350 xBA single for Austin Riley and a Marcell Ozuna walk, but recorded outs on .760 and .680 xBA line drives from Matt Olson and Travis d’Arnaud, respectively. Ultimately, they failed to score. Ian Anderson looked decent in the first, with his velocity back up a few ticks to sit around 95. He gave up a single to Luis Urias and Christian Yelich reached on another Matt Olson error, before issuing a two out walk to load the bases, but he immediately got an infield pop-up for the final out.
After the first inning in which both team came one hit away from scoring the game’s first run but ultimately failed, both of the starting pitchers really settled in and never really looked to be in much danger of conceding a run through the fifth inning, despite the occasional baserunner for both. Peralta cruised through a perfect top of the sixth, but Ian gave up a one out double to Hunter Renfroe, who advanced to third on a groundout and scored on a wild pitch one pitch before Tyrone Taylor lined out to end the inning, giving the Brewers a one run lead and the only run of the game up to that point.
Spencer Strider entered the game in the seventh for...reasons, despite no not having a starter decided for Tuesday’s game. The good news is that this was a situation in which the game was least close, so Strider being good is actually useful in terms of win probability. Strider got out of the inning scoreless, but did get handed a free out from some weird umpiring on a play where Ozzie appeared to let a ball drop and tossed it to second to start a double play, and despite him actually caught the ball in the air, the umpires gave the double-play on what is an un-challengeable play because the MLB replay system is nonsensical.
The Braves offense did absolutely nothing in the eighth, but Strider did his job to keep it scoreless with two strikeouts along the way to give the Braves offense one more chance to do anything useful in this game in the ninth. Josh Hader came in to close for Milwaukee and he is about as tough of a task to score against as there is in the league, as he had not blown a save since early July, 2021. Josh Hader did Josh Hader things and struck out the side, although to be fair, he struck out Matt Olson on a full count pitch that was just off the plate.
The Braves offense should have scored in the first inning, but only mustered a single baserunner after that, in the form of an infield single and that is not a winning formula. The Braves pitching was good enough that this is a game the Braves should have won, but the offense was silent after the first inning bad luck.
Regardless, yet another annoying win in this still young, but aging season. Join us again tomorrow at the same time and same place for game 2 against Milwaukee.