With a win in the first game of the four-game set with the Philadelphia Phillies on Friday coupled with a Washington Nationals loss, the Atlanta Braves have a share of first place once again. Very few bad news items would seem to arise from that for the Braves but all is not well on the Braves offense. They scored four runs on Friday but they all came as a result of clutch hits by Freddie Freeman. It wouldn’t be a big deal if those were the only scoring chances but they were not. The Braves scored four but left 18 men on base while striking out 10 times.
The Braves have had issues with this before of course but this is a critical time for them to get it worked out fast. While trying to get some revenge on the Phillies for the series loss in Atlanta, the Braves also are trying to take advantage of a rare three game losing streak by the Nats. Two of those Nats losses have come to the Chicago Cubs which you would have to assume would not turn into a four game sweep. That means that the Braves need to drive in those runners during the Saturday double-header if they hope to win the four game series and keep pace with the Nationals.
Historically a double header is a rough thing to sweep especially when there is going to be at least one pitcher that probably doesn’t go six or seven innings. Pitching issues and bullpen arms can all be saved along with the Braves status in the division rankings as long as their offense shows up and does the hard work in getting runners over and getting them in. If they leave nearly 20 on base for the rest of the series, don’t be surprised if they are two and a half games back come late Sunday night.