The Atlanta Braves were presented with a perfect opportunity to make headway in the NL East race but squandered it at a time when they can’t afford to.
If you’d have told the Atlanta Braves on Tuesday morning that they would be able to face a struggling Colorado Rockies team starting a pitcher with a 5.80 ERA on the season, that the Rocks would be matched up against the World Series champions’ ace, Max Fried, and that the New York Mets would fall at home to the Dodgers, the team would’ve likely jumped for joy.
When you paint the picture in that light, it was the perfect opportunity for Atlanta to chip away at the 3-game lead New York entered the day with in the NL East.
But despite that being the exact situation that played out before the Braves, they failed to take advantage of it. New York lost but, on an occasion that has been extremely rare since the All-Star break, Atlanta tasted defeat as well on the same day.
Braves waste fantastic chance to make up ground on Mets in NL East race
It’s not just that the Braves failed to win a game that they should’ve on paper — it’s the way they let this opportunity slip through their fingers that was exceedingly frustrating.
Atlanta jumped out to an early 2-0 lead, but then Fried gave up two earned runs soon and then committed an error in the top of the fifth inning that led to the go-ahead run for Colorado. He lasted only five innings in a relatively lackluster outing for the ace, but the bats were even more disappointing.
The Braves were outhit by the Rockies on the night, 11-to-7, but were also abysmal at capitalizing on chances to break through. They left 10 men on base throughout the game, including going an eyesore-ish 2-for-13 with runners in scoring position on the night.
Coming off of the disappointing weekend series loss in St. Louis, a set against a Colorado club that has consistently been a letdown this season seemed too good to be true — and to get the Mets to drop a game presented a chance to make up ground in the division.
But Atlanta failed to make good on the gift presented to them. They’re still virtual locks for the playoffs, but these types of games make it harder to believe that they’ll be able to come back and not enter the postseason as a wild card team.