The past weekend’s games were a mixed bag for the Atlanta Braves; a Friday night win overshadowed by a blow-out on Saturday night, and a homerun derby of a game marred by the team’s hottest star getting injured in Sunday’s rubber match.
It was a strange road trip for the Atlanta Braves, as they settled into Wrigley Field for a three-game series with the Chicago Cubs. After a 5-2 win on Friday, the Cubs bats blew up Saturday, putting the Braves at the wrong end of a 13-4 score. In a “turn-about is fair play” game on Sunday, a four-home run first inning was just the start to the Braves coming out on top in a game with the same 13-4 score as Saturday night. The game posed a few questions, such as “Who the heck is Guillermo Heredia?” and “When will the rash of injuries stop?”
With all the injuries (more on that later), the Braves have been forced to call up players most fans aren’t acquainted with. Heredia was pulled from the alternate training site, after both Pache and Inciarte sustained injuries. Having hit an average of one homerun every 54 at-bats, his two-run homer in the first was a welcome addition to the long-balls hit by Freeman, d’Arnoud, and Adrianza, giving the Braves a four-home run first inning, a feat not accomplished by the Braves since 2003. But Heredia wasn’t finished. He hit his first career grand slam later in the game, which also gave him the first-ever multiple home run game of his career.
The recent string of injuries the Braves’ roster has suffered took another hit Sunday night when Ronald Acuna, Jr., currently one of the hottest players in MLB, added to the outfield woes when he left the game in the 4th inning with an abdominal strain. He’s listed as day-to-day after being evaluated and diagnosed with a slight abdominal strain. The outfield bench is already shallow, with both Ender Inciarte and Christian Pache on the ten-day IL. The pitching staff is depleted as well, with Sean Newcomb, Drew Smylie, Chris Martin, Mike Soroka, Max Fried, and Touki Toussaint all out of commission. The good news is that Brave’s starting 2nd baseman, Ozzie Albies, is expected to be available tomorrow as they take on the Yankees.
The Braves are currently 7-9 on the year and ranked 4th in the National League East.