In the Braves’ 5-2 win over the Phillies, which secured a sweep Sunday at Truist Park, Spencer Strider collected another milestone. The Braves are 91-55.

Here are five observations:

1. In baseball, the elite pitchers sit in their own tier.

Jacob deGrom. Gerrit Cole. Sandy Alcantara. Justin Verlander. You can throw others into the mix, including Max Fried.

It is easy to envision Strider soon being a permanent part of the group.

Asked about Strider’s stuff versus top pitchers he’s faced, Michael Harris said: “I think he’s right under deGrom, honestly. He has the same kind of effect toward hitters that deGrom has. DeGrom’s really elite, so to put him up by somebody like that, it’s good for him. I just hope he continues to do it.”

Added manager Brian Snitker: “You talk to guys around the league – that fastball is different. It’s different, and that’s what they all say. You see it, and it’s different coming out. It’s got that ride. I think, probably, his stature plays to his advantage with that.”

Strider on Sunday eclipsed the 200-strikeout mark. At the time he exited, he ranked fourth in the National League and sixth in MLB with 202 strikeouts.

Strider is the third Braves rookie to collect at least 200 strikeouts and first in the modern era.

2. On Sunday, Strider allowed one run on one hit. The hit: Alec Bohm’s solo home run.

Harris made a valiant effort with a strong leap at the wall. On replay, it looked like he almost robbed the homer.

Strider had fun with Harris about it.

“I told him I would’ve caught that in BP,” Strider said. “So I’m out there roaming in BP patrolling the wall, and I’ve made some pretty spectacular catches in BP. So I make that catch – you know Mike, young kid, he’s got a way to go.”

Of the play, Harris said: “I was really mad that I actually got a glove on it and didn’t come down with it. I don’t know. I just expect myself to get some of those plays, and for it to hit my glove, it kind of upset me. Maybe next time I make it and save a run.”

3. Robbie Grossman drove in two runs on a run-scoring double in the third inning and a home run in the seventh. He has collected some big hits since the Braves acquired him at the trade deadline.

“Robbie’s done probably more than I thought when we got him, quite honestly,” Snitker said. “He’s worked really hard, he’s the ultimate pro and he’s filled a great role here.”

“He just plays the game so hard,” Strider said. “Even when he’s not in the game, he’s a terrific teammate, he’s locked in. He’s watching the game, and he’s providing feedback to guys. He’s just a terrific teammate. You know you’re getting competitive, pro at-bats out of him.”

Since the trade, Grossman has five home runs and 21 RBIs over 36 games.

4. The Braves did not end their most recent road trip as they had hoped. They headed home having lost four of their last five games. They missed out on an opportunity to take, and hold, the lead in the division.

They responded by sweeping a Phillies club that has surged in the second half.

The Braves did not start well this season. They sputtered over the first two months. They have suffered injuries, the most recent coming to Ozzie Albies.

Yet, they are in position for another deep run in October. They’ll enter a three-game series versus the Nationals one game behind the Mets.

“That’s what good teams do is they figure out how to battle through adversity,” Strider said. “When things aren’t clicking, they make adjustments, however that looks. The position we’re in right now is pretty incredible considering where we started, and I think we’re all pretty proud of the adjustments we’ve made.”

5. Strider said he never imagined this type of success as a rookie when he thought about his future years ago. That is because he did not look too far ahead.

“I always hoped that things would go this well,” he said. “I don’t know how you ever expect anything that specific to come out of the future. For me, it was just keep playing well and winning games. I figured everything would kind of work out, and at some point, I’d get where I wanted to be – that was obviously in the big leagues, on a winning team.”

Stat to know

38.3 – Among all pitchers with at least 125 innings, Strider’s 38.3% strikeout rate leads baseball.


“That’s all I’ve ever wanted. To get here in my first season, I’m extremely lucky to be in this position, and I’m very grateful that they’ve had so much faith in me and moved me up here as fast as they did and giving me this opportunity.”– Strider on being part of a pennant race in his rookie season

Up next

The Braves on Monday open a series versus the Nationals at Truist Park. Kyle Wright will start the opener against Nationals righty Cory Abbott. First pitch is at 7:20 p.m.

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