Orlando Arcia sent a ground ball into left field in the ninth inning to plate Phil Gosselin and give the Atlanta Braves a 2-1 walk off victory over the San Francisco Giants. The win is Atlanta’s 16th in their last 18 and I want you to just sit there and take a moment to imagine reading two sentences like this at this time last month. Now that you’re done with that, let’s continue on with the recap!
With two of some of the best pitchers in the National League taking the mound for tonight’s contest, a pitching duel was definitely liable to break out. Sure enough, that’s exactly what we got as Max Fried and Logan Webb started a trend in tonight’s game by trading scoreless innings in the first inning. With that being said, the Braves were the first team to show some flash of offense as Dansby Swanson doubled in the first inning. It wasn’t a run but it set the tone for what was to come in the second inning.
That was when Travis d’Arnaud came to the plate to lead off the second inning. Logan Webb threw 107 pitches tonight, but I’d imagine that he wants the fifth pitch he threw to d’Arnaud tonight back. It’s that pitch specifically that d’Arnaud put a charge into, as the Braves catcher crushed one and sent it flying over the fence in left field for a go-ahead solo homer. It was only one run but it ended up being an incredibly valuable run going forward.
d'Ouble d'Igits— Bally Sports: Braves (@BravesOnBally) June 20, 2022
10 home runs for Travis d'Arnaud. pic.twitter.com/Smfr4IWhY7
From that point forward, it was the Fried and Webb Show, as both pitchers showed little-to-no sign of being seriously beaten from that point forward. Fried also received some help from his defense, as Adam Duvall made a pretty good play in the fifth inning to rob Curt Casali of what seemed destined to be an inning-extending base hit. Instead, it was the third out and kept what was a shutout going at the time for Max Fried.
Things eventually changed in the eighth inning, which is when both pitchers finally made their exit. Webb was done after seven innings and the d’Arnaud home run was the only run he ended up conceding. Meanwhile, Fried came out for the eighth and was unable to pick up an out. A bunt single, a broken-bat blooper and a walk later, the bases were loaded, nobody was out, and Will Smith was suddenly on the mound. This was truly a dire situation but Smith somehow got out of the jam with just one run given up — a laser beam RBI single from Austin Slater. Adam Duvall made a crazy catch on a pop up that just barely left the infield for out number one, Smith struck out Tommy La Stella for out number two, and then Smith and Olson combined for an incredible defensive play to get the third and final out at first base.
Ridiculous play from Matt Olson and Will Smith pic.twitter.com/p4cZxf28S9— Bally Sports: Braves (@BravesOnBally) June 21, 2022
The Braves weren’t out of the woods yet, as the Giants threatened again in the ninth inning with Kenley Jansen on the mound. After getting the first out of the inning, returning World Series hero Joc Pederson hit one to the opposite side of the shift to get on and then made it to third on a hit from Luis Gonzalez. Gonzalez made it to second on the throw and once again, the Braves were in trouble. Fortunately for the Braves, Kenley Jansen sees situations like this and treats it like a typical Monday night — he proceeded to pick up two more strikeouts to end the inning with the game still tied at one run apiece.
That ended up being a huge frame from Jansen for the Braves, as the Braves came to life against Camilo Doval in the ninth inning. Doval had trouble finding the strike zone and walked Matt Olson on four pitches to lead things off. Newcomer/old Braves friend Phil Gosselin came in as a pinch runner and Gosselin eventually found himself in scoring position on second base after Marcell Ozuna hit a one-out single. Following a strikeout for Adam Duvall, it was up to Orlando Arcia to either keep the game alive or win it right there with a base hit that was deep enough. Arcia went with the latter and delivered his second walk-off hit of the season by turning a slider from Doval into a game-winning grounder into left field!
The tense, nervy win for the Braves gave Atlanta a scarcely-believable 16-2 record here in the month of June. It may have been a close and tight game against a team that was always going to be tough competition and runs were definitely at a premium, but the Braves proved that they were up to the added challenge of better competition. They’ve started off this week-long homestand on a winning note and here’s hoping that we see a lot more of this as the week continues.