After a slow start against the Philadelphia Phillies, the Atlanta Braves brought the big sticks out in the eighth and ninth inning, showing off some of the best power bats in the NL. However, the very veteran Phillies had that classic Philadelphia fight. This is the kind of game the Phillies needed to prove to themselves that they can still bust out the big sticks, but the Braves had just too much beef.
The Braves are top 10 in the National League in slugging percentage, and top three in total home runs. In the eighth, the Braves knocked out three homers in a row to take a huge five to one lead, but the Phillies rocked the Braves for five runs in the bottom of the eighth to take a 6-5 lead. Unfortunately, it was just enough to give the great Philly fans a slice of hope to take down the current division leaders, until Dan Uggla cranked a grand slam in the top of the ninth to give the Braves a commanding 9-6 lead.
Justin Upton has been one of the hottest hitters in MLB, behind the scorching hot Chase Utley of the Phillies. However, Upton played second fiddle to even his struggling brother B.J. Upton in the game against the Phillies.
That’s the kind of lineup the Braves have this season. A guy like Justin Upton can be crazy hot, then cool off, and the rest of the lineup will show up and score runs. Of course, the Braves are notorious for going dark in spurts throughout the season. We’ll see if they can continue the power consistently through 2014.
As for the Phillies, the bottom of the eighth is how they can play when they’re at their full potential. They used a combination of smart hitting, good base running, and power to rack up another win. Utley and Ryan Howard brought the solid hitting, and Domonic Brown’s three-run homer to right put them up, albeit temporarily.
Both Uggla and Evan Gettis went yard twice in the game against the Phillies, and again, Justin Upton was not a factor. The Braves when connecting have the most potential power in the National League — hands down — and if they find consistency, they could run away with the NL East.