The Atlanta Braves offense has stalled…again. In the last four games Atlanta’s offense has been shut out three times and scored a total of one run. The lack of timely hitting continued Tuesday night as the Braves were shutout 4-0 by the Philadelphia Phillies.
Atlanta’s offense couldn’t capitalize on Phillies starter Kyle Kendrick in the first inning as the Braves had the bases loaded with 1-out. Coming into the game Kendrick’s ERA in the 1st inning was 10.00 while giving up 30 runs and 8 homeruns. It was a prime opportunity for the Braves to break out of this funk but Evan Gattis and Chris Johnson struck out back-to-back to end the inning.
Jason Heyward accounted for two of the Braves three hits. Both of which were doubles to lead-off the first and sixth innings. The rest of the Braves lineup combined to go 1-24, not being able to come up with the big hit to drive in the Braves right-fielder.
Kyle Kendrick settled in for the Phillies after a potentially disastrous first inning. The veteran right-hander went seven innings allowing only three hits and two walks while striking out four. Atlanta starter Mike Minor wasn’t too shabby as he went 7.1 innings allowing three runs on seven hits, while walking two and striking out five. The Braves offense wasted another solid pitching performance as Minor gave his team a chance to win.
The Phillies offense broke through in the fifth inning with a Carlos Ruiz solo homerun. They tacked on another run in the sixth inning with a Darin Ruff 2-out single. Philadelphia put the nail in the coffin in the eighth inning with a Carlos Ruiz RBI double and a Maikel Franco sac-fly.
The Phillies only defeated the Braves 4-0 but it felt like 8-0. When the Braves offense doesn’t score it seems any deficit is an insurmountable. The sad thing is Atlanta’s pitching staff gives them a chance to win every night as Atlanta’s rotation leads MLB with 98 quality starts. However, with the lack of run support the pressure mounts for the starters and one mistake can be the difference in the game.
This is the wrong time for the Braves offense to go quiet, the only positive spin you can put on it is with them not scoring now they might come around in the coming days. Of course by that point they might be completely out of the division race and there might be too many teams to pass in the Wild Card.