Remember the Cubs game last year in April?
Some will remember it for the horrible weather, others for the large lead that was surrendered.
Well, while the Braves didn't give up as big of a lead, this may be just a painful of a memory in time.
The Braves lost to the Diamondbacks 9-6 on Tuesday night. Despite another good effort from Max Fried and the offense, the Braves bullpen found a new level of awful it had not reached before.
The game looked like a pitchers "from the start as Fried and Robbie Ray only gave up one hit apiece trough three innings. However, the top of the fourth was not as good as Fried. After getting David Peralta to ground into a double play, Fried gave up three straight singles and a double, which resulted in a 2-0 Arizona lead.
However, Ronald Acuna Jr. had the answer as he almost always seems to do. His 448-foot blast made the score 2-1
It seemed that the ease at which Ray was cruising earlier in the game came to an abrupt halt after the Acuna Jr. homer. And his night crash landed in the bottom of the fifth. Singles by Fried and Ozzie Albies were followed by a Freddie Freeman double. After a walk to Acuna Jr., Camargo delivered again with a bases clearing double. This gave the Braves a 5-2 lead.
Fried would work a quiet top of the sixth and end with his third straight quality start. In six innings, Fried gave up 2 earned runs, 7 hits, 1 walk, 1 hit batsman and struck out 3 batters. With the braves offense facing the Arizona bullpen the rest of the way, it seemed to be very good bet was a line for his third straight win.
Or so we thought.
With it being too painful to rehash the end of the game moment at moment, the total numbers will speak for themselves. Chad Sobotka, Jessie Biddle and Luke Jackson combined to give up 2 hit batsman, 3 walks, and 2 hits in the top of the 7th, which resulted in four runs. The Diamondbacks took a 6-5 lead. After a recent stretch in which the bullpen had finally started to find its groove, it was right back off course with a purpose.
However, as good offenses and good teams seem to do, the Braves immediately answered instead of folding. Ozzie Albies played the game with his second home run of the season. While Shane Carle made his return to the majors escaping trouble after a walk in the top of the 8th, Dansby Swanson lead off the bottom of the 8th with a double. However, in the top of the 9th, A.J. Minter was immediately with trouble. Christian Walker connected with his fifth homer of the year. After two quick outs, Minter allowed a double and a walk, and Jacob Webb was called upon to make his major league debut. Adam Jones had a rude welcome though, as his two-run double made the score 9-6.
That would prove to be the final score. Overall. the Braves bullpen yielded seven runs on two hit batsman, five walks, five hits, and a home run. The Diamondbacks proved how good they are against left-handers, especially the bottom of the order. Their five through eight-hole hitters combined to go 8-18 with 4 runs, 2 walks, 2 doubles, a home run and five RBI's.
While it is early in the season, this loss adds validity to a few pretty factual statements. The Braves are a good team with an elite offense. However, they are also a flawed team. This is simply a unit that is likely to be the best in the National league.
This was not just a loss in April. This was a loss that could prove to be quite memorable if the Braves do not find the game answers quickly.