PHILADELPHIA – The Phillies blew out the Braves, 9-1, on Friday at Citizens Bank Park. Atlanta (93-58) has lost three in a row.

The Braves trail the Mets by 2 1/2 games in the NL East. New York beat Oakland 9-2.

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Here are five observations:

1. Many times, seasons reach a tipping point – a critical juncture at which the team can go one way or the other.

That might be the case here after the Braves lost their third straight game at a pivotal point in the NL East race.

In two months, we could be discussing this stretch for the Braves as the one that foreshadowed their demise … or the one that fueled another postseason run. They have not played well for parts of September, but multiple times this season, they have responded to losing streaks with stretches of great baseball.

“We’ve done it before, we can do it again,” Dansby Swanson said. “The biggest thing is just continuing to focus on the now. It’s so easy to get caught up in looking ahead, looking at future series, looking at just anything and everything.”

The Braves have 11 regular-season games and at least one postseason series to get hot.

“We have one good game, be it on the mound, (or) offensively, we win a slugfest or we win a 1-0 game, I think those are the type of things that turn things back, and this is a very capable team of doing that,” Jake Odorizzi said. “It’s tough, it’s a long season. At some points, there’s crappiness and you just have to put your head down and get through it.”

2. In a nine-run game in the seventh inning, Robbie Grossman lifted a sacrifice fly that scored Eddie Rosario.

It marked the Braves’ first run since the second inning on Wednesday. They went 22 innings without a run.

“Just guys trying to not do too much, that’s the biggest thing,” manager Brian Snitker said when asked how clubs get out of rough patches. “When you get in ruts like this, everybody wants to be the guy to get you off the floor, and then you try too hard. That’s human nature. These guys all want to do good. They’re all trying really hard, they’re working hard. And it just doesn’t always happen.

“That’s what keeps us all coming back here to this business. These guys, they’re going to keep fighting the fight and they’re going to keep getting after it and they’re going to keep working, and eventually it’ll turn.”

This month, Matt Olson is 8-for-72 (.111) with 26 strikeouts. Austin Riley is 18-for-74 (.243). Dansby Swanson is 18-for-81 (.222).

Atlanta has not homered in three straight games, which is the first time the Braves have gone three consecutive contests without a home run since 2019.

Aaron Nola shut out the Braves over six innings in this game.

3. The Phillies saw Odorizzi last weekend, and he held them to a run over 4 2/3 innings.

This time, Philadelphia was not fooled. The Phillies hammered Odorizzi, who allowed eight runs on 10 hits over four innings.

“Just one of those days,” Odorizzi said. “I felt like every time they touched the ball, it was a hit today. I know that’s going to happen in the game. I get it, it’s happened to me before. It’s frustrating when you’re going through it. It felt like today, when I made pitches, they were still hits, and if I missed locations, they were harder hits.”

The Phillies tagged Odorizzi for two four-run innings – one in the second, the other in the fourth. Rhys Hoskins did the most damage, lacing a two-run double in the second inning before smoking a two-run homer in the fourth.

Credit: AP

Credit: AP

4. This could be encouraging: The Braves have fared well after losing three in a row this season.

After the Braves lost three straight contests in early August, they went on an eight-game winning streak.

After they lost three in a row in late August, they rattled off eight straight again.

Recently, the Braves lost four of the last five games on a West Coast road trip before winning five in a row to begin their homestand.

5. The Braves have been through tough stretches before. They can use that experience to their advantage.

“We went through them a couple times this year,” Snitker said. “If you handle it and you keep grinding and you keep working – like I’ve always said, if you handle adversity, there’s good things on the back end of it. We know what we’re capable of doing. It doesn’t always happen.”

Phillies 9, Braves 1

Stat to know

5.97 - Odorizzi has a 5.97 ERA over eight starts since the Braves acquired him.

Quotable

“I think so. I don’t see any reason why not. You’re going to go through ups, you’re going to go through downs as a player, as a team, everything. And right now, it seems like we’re all kind of going through it at the same time. It’s no fault of anyone’s, it’s just how the game goes, the ups and the downs of it all.” - Odorizzi when asked if the club can turn this into a sizable winning streak

Up next

Searching for their first win of the series, the Braves will send Kyle Wright to the mound on Saturday, while left-hander Bailey Falter will start for the Phillies. The game begins at 4:05 p.m.