On a day where Braves fandom underwent a series of paroxysms regarding the possibility that the shortstop competition playing out this spring was between Vaughn Grissom and Braden Shewmake, it was the other shortstop on the roster, Orlando Arcia, that went and had himself a big game. Dylan Dodd, meanwhile, continued to do what he’s done all spring, and cruised through a backup-laden Philadelphia lineup en route to a 5-1 Braves win.
Let’s start with Dodd, because there’s not too much new to write about there. Dodd gave up a leadoff homer to Brandon Marsh, and a ringing, off the wall single to Darick Hall, but then seemed to make whatever adjustment was needed to stop grooving pitches early in the count, and rolled through most of the rest of his outing. After the first, he allowed just a couple of walks, and at one point struck out three batters in a row. His final line was a 4/2 K/BB ratio with the homer and another hit allowed in 4 2⁄3 innings of work. It wasn’t as impressive as some of his other work, given the spare parts lineup he was facing, and the fact that he had two random walks strewn about in his outing, but it was still fine enough and probably doesn’t change his status, whatever it is, all that much.
On the offensive side of things, the Braves faced seven different Phillies arms and totaled five runs. They tied the game in the third, as Orlando Arcia reached on a throwing error on a ball hit to third base, and after a Matt Olson walk, scored on Austin Riley’s rocketed double into the left-center gap. They pulled ahead in the fourth: Grissom walked, Sam Hilliard rolled a single through the right side of the infield, and with two outs, Arcia sliced a ball into right for an RBI single.
In the sixth, the Braves got three straight baserunners to start the inning (Michael Harris II doubled on a routine groundball to right-center, Grissom hit an infield single to short, Hilliard walked), and Kevin Pillar then hit into a run-scoring double play. Arcia followed with a massive opposite-field dinger to cap the scoring at 5-1 in the Braves’ favor.
After Dodd departed, the Atlanta relief corps had an easy time of it. Joe Jimenez threw a scoreless frame. Both Kirby Yates and Lucas Luetge struck out the side in their respective innings of work, though Yates issued a walk in his and Luetge just eviscerated the batters he faced. The Phillies managed zero hits in this game after the two grooved pitches by Dodd in the first, though they did end up drawing five total walks.
Offensively, beyond Arcia’s big game, the Braves got a two-walk game from Olson, and a multi-on-base effort from both Grissom (starting at DH) and Hilliard. Kevin Pillar had a rough game, 0-for-3 with two strikeouts and a GIDP; Travis d’Arnaud was the other Atlanta starter to not reach base in this one and is having a relatively unfun Spring Training 2023 overall.
The Braves are off to Fort Myers tomorrow, where they will be hosted by the Twins. Max Fried looks to get some more tune-up innings in that one.