You would be forgiven if you thought that starting Huascar Ynoa was going to be a recipe for disaster because, if for no other reason, that has just been the Braves’ curse this year. In some respects, the Braves’ rotation spots have been like the Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher position in the Harry Potter series. For those that aren’t familiar, lets just say that folks generally don’t last long in the job.
However, Ynoa performed very ably. Through the game’s first three innings, Ynoa threw just 35 pitches and did not give up a single run or even a walk to go along with three strikeouts. He struck out a pair in the fourth and it seemed like he was in for quite the night.
Unfortunately, the Rotation Curse struck again as Ynoa was forced to leave the game early after the fourth inning with what seemed to be a lower back ailment. Darren O’ Day would come on to relieve him and pitched a clean inning of his own with a strikeout. Ynoa wasn’t lucky to be pitching much longer than the fourth, but it was a bummer to see him have to pull the plug early.
The Braves would strike first in the third inning when Ozzie Albies doubled followed by a double of Freddie Freeman’s own that easily scored Ozzie to give the Braves a 1-0 lead. The second run would come off of the Ruthian bat of Adam Duvall who connected for a solo shot to extend the Braves’ lead to 2-0. As you can see, he has been quite good of late.
Duvall now has 10 homers in 55 at-bats this month. His team-high 15 homers is tied with Tatis and Betts for the NL lead
— Mark Bowman (@mlbbowman) September 16, 2020
After O’Day pitched well in the fifth, on came Will Smith who has been a bit hit and miss in his role in the bullpen this season after an extended absence due to testing positive for COVID-19. However, he was quite good in the sixth inning of this one as it was an easy 1-2-3 inning with a strikeout.
The next few innings would go by without incident, but the top of the ninth is where the Braves’ offense woke up. After Ronald Acuna Jr. led the inning off with a walk, Freddie Freeman, who absolutely should be considered a frontrunner for the NL MVP award right now, cracked an RBI double to make it a 3-0 game. Then Marcell Ozuna brought him home with an RBI single. Then, a couple batters later, Dansby Swanson brought Ozuna home on a sac fly and just like that, the Braves were up 5-0.
Mark Melancon came on to close things out in the bottom of the ninth. Melancon has had some appearances of late that have been more interesting than fans would like, and this one wasn’t necessarily an exception to that as he did give up a run after a double from Cedric Mullins led to a run, but the rest of the inning went by without incident and the Braves secured another win.