PITTSBURGH — Facing Ronald Acua Jr., Dansby Swanson and Austin Riley to begin with a game could be intimidating for just about any pitcher. However the numbers show its quite dangerous to also face anybody the Braves have put into the ultimate three dots of their lineup this season.
Max Fried strengthened his Cy Young Award resume and underneath of the Braves lineup once more delivered in a 6-1 win on the Pirates on Tuesday night at PNC Park. Atlanta tallied one hit through the initial four innings, then began a five-run fifth with six straight hits.
Just considering it numbers-wise, its a fairly crazy lineup, said Braves left fielder Robbie Grossman, who has enhanced Atlantas bottom-of-the-lineup success since being acquired from the Tigers on Aug. 2.
With Fried allowing just one single operate on three hits and something walk with seven strikeouts through eight innings, the Braves (77-48) moved within two games of the first-place Mets (79-46) in the National League East. Atlanta has won 13 of its past 15 games by using a solid rotation and a productive lineup.
Precisely how deep may be the lineup?
Well, the Braves lead the Majors with 78 RBIs from the ninth spot in the order. The Dodgers entered Tuesday ranked second with 65, as the Giants were third with 56. Atlanta is on pace to get 101 RBIs from the ninth spot. The 1996 Rangers (100 RBIs) will be the only team which has tallied a triple-digit total from the orders final spot.
Considering the seventh, eighth and ninth dots of the lineup, the Braves lead the Majors in home runs (66), runs (203) and RBIs (196) from those batting order positions. The Dodgers rank second in each category. However they had 20 fewer homers, five fewer runs scored and 24 fewer RBIs from these dots of their order when Atlanta wrapped up its latest victory.
I assume what takes its deep lineup is when guys perform, and were consistently getting the right production from underneath, from the bottom third, Braves manager Brian Snitker said. Irrespective of who has been around there, its been very good.
Pirates starting pitcher JT Brubaker quickly learned all about the depth of Atlantas lineup. After Travis dArnaud began the fifth with a game-tying homer, Michael Harris II sandwiched a double between a set of singles tallied by William Contreras and Vaughn Grissom. Grossman and Acua capped the string of six straight hits with consecutive singles.
Inside a span of six plate appearances, the Braves went from being on the incorrect side of a one-hit bid to running a 4-1 lead. One among those six plate appearances was created by a new player who occupied among the first four spots within the Braves lineup.
Each and every guy that rises there exists a threat to take you deep or get yourself a base hit or can get on base and steal a base, Fried said. It creates your margin for error much less. It puts plenty of pressure you.
Swanson, an All-Star this year, began the entire year batting ninth. Harris, a high NL Rookie of the entire year candidate, has filled that spot regularly since his debut on, may 28. As Grossman has sat in the bottom of the order, he’s got distanced himself from the frustration he felt before being acquired by the Braves.
Grissom tallied a career-high three hits on Tuesday and is currently hitting .420 with a 1.123 OPS through the initial 14 games of his career. Harris has hit .301 with a .929 OPS in August, and Grossman has collected some timely hits while constructing a .714 OPS since arriving in Atlanta.
Underneath of the lineup has allowed the Braves to help keep winning while Swanson (.659 OPS) and Riley (.654 OPS) have weakened their NL MVP resumes this month.