Braves’ Weekly Update: Opening Weekend Ends in Sweep by Philly
In the opening weekend of the 2021 MLB season, the Atlanta Braves got swept in three games by the Philadelphia Phillies (3-0). Atlanta’s record drops to 0-3, and the team now sits three games back at 5th place in the NL East.
On Opening Day on Thursday, Atlanta trailed 2-0 until the seventh inning. Pinch-hitter Pablo Sandoval homered deep into right field to bring Christian Pache and himself home to tie the game. The two-all deadlock carried into extra innings, where Philadelphia won on a Bryce Harper run that was batted in by Jean Segura. Braves’ relief pitcher Nate Jones received the loss, while Phillies’ Connor Brogdon got the win.
A 4-0 shutout on Saturday cemented a series loss for Atlanta. In the bottom of the fifth inning, the Phillies managed three runs. Atlanta failed to recover, allowing one more run in the sixth inning. Atlanta’s batting was sub-par, with the lone hit coming off the bat of Travis d’Arnaud. Atlanta’s Charlie Morton took the loss to drop to 0-1, while Zach Wheeler rose to 1-0 for Philly.
The Braves’ bats finally woke up in the last game of the road trip to Philadelphia. Still, the four total hits couldn’t keep up with Philadelphia, who doubled both hits and runs. Once again, d’Arnaud finished the day as the offensive MVP. The catcher tallied the only run of the game with a seventh-inning RBI. Atlanta pitcher Chris Martin took the loss to drop to 0-1 in the 2-1 defeat.
Atlanta is slowly making its way back down to the south this week. Starting Tuesday, the Bravos will take part in a three-game series with the Nationals in D.C. The two NL East rivals were originally scheduled for a Monday matchup, but the Nats are just now returning from a COVID-19 pause. This means that Wednesday will now be a doubleheader starting around 11 a.m. The Tuesday matchup will be the first game of the year for Washington.
To close the week, Atlanta will host the Phillies in another three-game series from Friday to Sunday. With around 50% capacity filling Trust Park in Atlanta, Morton, Ian Anderson and Drew Smyly will lead the team from the mound in the three matchups. The first pitch is scheduled for 6:20 Friday and Saturday, while Sunday’s game, which will be nationally televised on ESPN, will start around 6:08 p.m.