5 takeaways after Braves again squander late lead in loss to Phillies

Philadelphia Phillies' Jean Segura, left, is doused by Jose Alvarado after hitting a game-winning two-run single off Atlanta Braves pitcher Chris Martin during the 10th inning of a baseball game, Thursday, June 10, 2021, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
Philadelphia Phillies' Jean Segura, left, is doused by Jose Alvarado after hitting a game-winning two-run single off Atlanta Braves pitcher Chris Martin during the 10th inning of a baseball game, Thursday, June 10, 2021, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

Credit: AP

Credit: AP

For the second consecutive day, the Braves blew a game late in Philadelphia. They lost to the Phillies, 4-3 in 10 innings, to lose two of three in the series.

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Here are five takeaways from Thursday:

1. It was a nightmare two games for the Braves. Will Smith surrendered a two-out, two-run walk-off homer to Luke Williams on Wednesday night, sending the Braves to a 2-1 loss. Their defeat Thursday was even worse.

Freddie Freeman’s game-tying homer with one out in the ninth forced extras at 1-1. The Braves scored twice in the 10th, via a passed ball and wild pitch, to take a 3-1 lead against Phillies reliever Jose Alvarado. With Smith unavailable, the team deployed Chris Martin as closer.

Martin, who had logged nine scoreless appearances in 10 games since mid-May, didn’t record an out. Each of the three Phillies hitters reached. Alec Bohm singled, scoring the placed runner at second. Odubel Herrera doubled. Jean Segura doubled, scoring the tying and winning runs.

“He just didn’t execute pitches,” manager Brian Snitker said of Martin. “That’s pretty much it. He left that ball up to Bohm. Got too much of the plate on Herrera. He didn’t make pitches, that’s all. And if you don’t make pitches, you’re going to get hurt.”

2. The loss spoiled a brilliant start by Ian Anderson, who pitched seven scoreless innings. Anderson struck out four, walked one and recorded 10 ground-ball outs. He rebounded well from his past two outings, when he failed to complete five innings.

Anderson traded scoreless frames with Zack Wheeler, who for the second time this season had a masterful start against the Braves. Wheeler struck out 12 over eight shutout innings.

Atlanta Braves' Ian Anderson plays during a baseball game against the Philadelphia Phillies, Thursday, June 10, 2021, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
Atlanta Braves' Ian Anderson plays during a baseball game against the Philadelphia Phillies, Thursday, June 10, 2021, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

Credit: AP

Credit: AP

“You forget he’s a rookie sometimes,” Freeman said of Anderson. “Every time he steps on the mound, you feel confident you have a real good chance to win. Zack, I can’t remember the last time he’s lost here. It feels like he usually wins in Citizens Bank Park. Zack has been one of the best pitches the last couple years. Every pitch is competitive. He doesn’t make many mistakes. Going toe-to-toe with him, that’s a good outing for Ian. And Zack did it again, unfortunately.”

3. Freeman called the season an “absolute roller coaster” after the game. Just as it seemed the Braves might’ve changed their fortunes by taking two of three from the Dodgers and winning the series opener in Philadelphia, they followed it up with a deflating pair of losses.

“This is what makes you crazy in this game,” Freeman said. “But it’s also what keeps you coming back every day. It hasn’t been the uphill part of the roller coaster. We haven’t gone uphill. It’s always been going around it. Hopefully we can get things going and get back to .500. I feel like once we get over that .500 hump, we’ll get going here. But it’s been a roller coaster all season so far.”

Atlanta Braves' Freddie Freeman follows through after hitting a home run off Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Hector Neris during the ninth inning of a baseball game, Thursday, June 10, 2021, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
Atlanta Braves' Freddie Freeman follows through after hitting a home run off Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Hector Neris during the ninth inning of a baseball game, Thursday, June 10, 2021, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

Credit: AP

Credit: AP

4. Freeman referenced a troubling trend continuing: The Braves are not only 0-5 after reaching .500, but they’ve followed it with multiple losses in a row. They’ve suffered losing streaks of four consecutive games (twice), three consecutive games and two consecutive games (twice, including currently), after evening their record.

5. The Braves have reached the 60-game mark. They went 35-25 in the 60-game 2020 season, earning the division crown. These Braves, sitting at 29-31, are happy they have 102 games to sort out their team. They’re four games behind the first-place Mets in the National League East. New York was off Thursday.

“I’m glad it’s not over,” Freeman said. “I’m glad we have 100 more to get this going.”

Phillies 4, Braves 3 (box score)

Stat to know

1-6 (The Braves fell to 1-6 in extra-innings games. They also dropped to 0-9 in games tied after seven innings.)

Quotable

“It’s wild. And I’m glad right now that we have 100 games left. I’m glad we have all that time to get this thing right.” – Snitker on the realization that a 60-game season would’ve concluded Thursday.

Up next

The Braves begin their first series in Miami this season Friday. In their only previous series, the Marlins took three of four at Truist Park. Charlie Morton (5-2, 4.21 ERA) will start Friday for the Braves.

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