The Braves had nothing but playoff preparedness and some records to play for in the penultimate game of their regular season.
Spencer Strider got a good start on one of those records, striking out the second National for his first out, but ran into some trouble after that as he got some horrendous BABIP luck, allowing three Nationals to score before another out was recorded. He battled back to strike out the last three batters of the inning for the franchise single-season strikeout record. An Austin Riley double and a fielding error created a threat, but the Braves weren’t able to score any runs.
Each team managed a leadoff single in the second, but nothing else after that. Strider held Washington quiet in the third and Ronald Acuna led off the bottom of the inning with a walk. He immediately stole second to take sole ownership of the modern franchise record for stolen bases in a season.
Austin Riley singled home Acuna, but Matt Olson grounded into a double-play, keeping the score at 3-1 Washington. The fourth was relatively quiet again and Strider worked around a walk and a single in the top of the fifth to hold the Nationals at 3. The Braves’ offense came roaring to life in the home fifth, starting (as often) with Ronald Acuna. An Acuna double turned into a run as Ozzie Albies’ singled him home. Matt Olson snuck a grounder through for a single and Marcell Ozuna unleashed a monster homer 432 feet to dead center, giving Atlanta a 5-3 lead and taking them closer to the single season team home run total record.
Snitker let Strider take the mound to start the sixth so that he could pull him and give him an ovation from the crowd, bringing in Pierce Johnson. Pierce was absolutely lights out, as he struck out the side. The next two innings were quiet, as a Marcell Ozuna triple amounted to nothing and Kirby Yates and AJ Minter handled their innings well. It must be mentioned that Ozzie Albies ended the top eighth on a really smart play to get the runner at home who had been running on the pitch from second and decided to try and score, since Ozzie did not have the play at first.
Singles from Eddie and Ronald didn’t result in any runs in the bottom of the eighth, and Raisel Iglesias came in for what could be his last save opportunity of the season. He converted the save, despite a leadoff double, and earned Spencer Strider his 20th win of the season, for those who care about wins.
Join us for the final game of the regular season at 3:10 PM ET.