With Tucker Davidson on the mound vs the formidable Zack Wheeler, the Braves sought a win in their first game against the Phillies this season.
Things got hairy in the top of the first for Tucker, as he walked the leadoff batter and allowed a hard hit single to Bohm, but he got three consecutive groundouts to escape the inning scoreless, with some help from some nice defense from Matt Olson, which is a welcome sight after he made some suboptimal defensive players early this season. William Contreras hit a true bloop double with one out in the bottom of the first and was sent home on an Ozuna single, only to be thrown out on a pretty fantastic throw. Travis d’Arnaud singled, but the Braves were unable to score in the first.
A 99.9 MPH assist! pic.twitter.com/cn49Zn3ej2— MLB (@MLB) May 23, 2022
Tucker started the second inning the same as the first, issuing a leadoff walk and a hard hit single to the first two batters. He struck out Braves Legend Johan Camargo, but walked Roman Quinn to load the bases with one out. He then allowed a bases clearing double to Rhys Hoskins to break the game open for Philly.
Wheeler worked a perfect bottom of the second and it looked like Tucker might do the same in the top of the third, but then he issued a two out walk to Kyle Schwarber, JT Realmuto hit a lucky triple down the third base line to score Schwarber, and that was the end of Tucker’s night, having allowed 4 runs and 4 walks in 2.2 innings. Jesse Chavez was Brian Snitker’s reliever of choice for this situation and he immediately walked Johan Camargo before allowing a two RBI double to Roman Quinn, who advanced to third on the throw. To be fair, d’Arnaud had the ball with a good opportunity to tag Camargo out at home, but missed Johan’s body, allowing the run to score. Jesse got out of the inning from there, but a 6-0 deficit in the third inning is quite bad. Wheeler pitched another perfect inning in the bottom of the frame.
Chavez came back out for the fourth and allowed a leadoff single to Bohm. He then got Bryce Harper to sky a pop-up, but both Austin Riley and William Contreras apparently thought the ball was landing about five feet away from where it actually landed, so it counted as a single. Castellanos hit into a double play to Ozzie Albies who made a poor throw, but Olson managed to snag it and spin to tag out Castellanos for the second out. Jesse then allowed an RBI single and issued another walk to Kyle Schwarber before mercifully striking out Realmuto to end the inning. After another perfect inning from Wheeler, Chavez recorded a strikeout and allowed a single to Camargo in the fifth before giving way to Dylan Lee, who escaped the inning with no further baserunners.
The Braves actually scored a run (!) in the fifth with an absolutely smoked double from Austin Riley and an opposite field single from Dansby. Neither offense did much in the sixth and Dylan Lee kept the Phillies quiet again in the top of the seventh before the Braves scored again in the bottom of the frame, courtesy of another Austin Riley hard hit double. Dansby reached on a swinging bunt that Familia, relieving Wheeler, fell over while throwing, putting runners on second and third with two outs for Ronald Acuna, but Ronald popped out to end the inning at a 7-2 Philadelphia advantage. Darren O’Day got the seventh and worked around a walk for a scoreless inning.
The offense made some noise again in the eighth, as Contreras singled and came around to score after an Olson walk and an Ozzie single of his own. Unfortunately, Austin Riley struck out to end the threat, with the score still 7-3, Philly. Jackson Stephens came in for the ninth and worked around a leadoff single for a scoreless inning with two strikeouts. The Braves offense went down in order in the bottom of the ninth and Johan Camargo robbed Ronald Acuna of a line drive single, snapping his on-base streak.
Well I just covered the last seven innings of that game in an amount of detail that was highly unnecessary, given the actual content of the game, so that’s something. Join us tomorrow for hopefully a better result with a much more favorable pitching matchup for Atlanta, with Max Fried vs Kyle Gibson at 7:20 PM.