THURS: Atlanta Braves fall short in series opener with Reds

The Atlanta Braves suffered yet another loss on Thursday evening as they struggled to cash in runs with runners on base. 

Jesse Chavez returned to the mound for the Atlanta Braves for the first time since 2010.

Unfortunately for Jesse, it didn’t go as well as it could have.

Chavez allowed two runs on two hits including one walk and three strikeouts.

Thursday’s game was deemed a “bullpen game” and I’m sure that did not instill very much confidence in Braves fans.

Seventy-four games into the 2021 season, the Atlanta Braves — expected to take the NL East division for a fourth consecutive season — have failed to produce and sustain a winning record.

If the postseason were to start today, the Braves would not be participating.

Atlanta did its best to dig into the Reds lead, but the bullpen just couldn’t hold as the Braves lost 5-3.

The bullpen woes continued for the Braves as they consistently had traffic on the bases to deal with.

Tyler Matzek walked three batters in two-thirds of an inning, but was bailed out by Edgar Santana, who pitched very well on Thursday.

Surprisingly, Sean Newcomb pitched very well for Atlanta as he tossed two scoreless innings. He still issued a couple of walks in the game but overall, his performance was very encouraging.

Luke Jackson wasn’t so lucky as he had one of his worst outings of the season. Jackson allowed two runs on three hits and issued a walk.

Even with Thursday’s struggles, Jackson still has a 1.67 ERA and is having one of his best seasons. I wouldn’t be surprised if he makes it to the All-Star game.

Chris Martin also struggled a tad as he allowed one run on two hits with one walk.

I don’t know when or how the bullpen will be fixed this year but you won’t find any success walking 8 batters in a game.

However, the offense doesn’t get off that easily as they left 22 (yes, you read that right) runners on base Thursday evening. This performance also included 12 strikeouts.

Atlanta’s offense has struck out 695 times this season and are 9th in the league in that category.

That’s something else that has to start getting better or this team will not accomplish what it has set out to do.

There were some positives offensively as Freddie Freeman and Ozzie Albies each homered.

Ehrie Adrianza also went 3-for-3 to give himself a much-needed offensive outburst.

It’s frustrating that the Braves have yet to find consistency on either side of the ball. We’ve become accustomed to the team putting together some impressive winning streaks.

Unfortunately, it feels like that just will not happen in 2021.

Teams have been known to make complete 180s after the All-Star break so it’s entirely possible that they could right the ship.

However, that is me being a major optimist and hoping needs will be addressed by the trade deadline.

Games like this are very frustrating to watch as a fan and I dislike how commonplace it has become to feel this way during this season.

Friday is a new day and let’s hope a win comes with it.