“I feel like my work has been good in the cage, and being able to repeat the swings and carry it onto the field,” Riley said. “When you do that, and you have a good plan and stick to it, you give yourself a good chance.”
Riley’s .902 OPS ranks fourth in the National League. His 23 homers are tied for second. His .559 slugging percentage is third.
“I think Austin proved again today that he should have a very good chance to maybe get in as an alternate,” Ian Anderson said. “I don’t see how you don’t put that guy in.”
2. Not long after the Mets lost, Dansby Swanson scored the winning run.
The Braves only trail the Mets by 1 ½ games. These two clubs play three games, beginning Monday.
“We’re not going to clinch the division this week,” manager Brian Snitker said. “There’s a long way to go. We got another half. We’re playing good baseball. It’s going to be a good series.”
But as competitors, the Braves are excited for this series.
“It’s a very good team,” Anderson said. “They play very good D, they grind out at-bats, they make you pay for mistakes and they have a really good pitching staff. It’s going to be a battle.”
“It’s always fun,” Riley said. “I love those playoff atmosphere-type games and I’m sure that’s what it’s going to be like. It’s a really good ballclub with some good arms that we’re facing, so I’m really looking forward to it.”
3. The relievers have a difficult job in extra innings. With a runner starting the frames at second base, it’s difficult to keep opponents off the board.
The Nationals didn’t score in three extra innings.
“Those guys were amazing,” Swanson said. “I feel like they’ve constantly gotten better, which is crazy to think that they can even do that.”
After Dylan Lee gave up the three-run homer to Thomas, Darren O’Day (⅓ of an inning), Tyler Matzek (1 ⅔ innings), Jesse Chavez (two innings) and Collin McHugh (two innings) combined to shut out the Nationals the rest of the way.
Chavez didn’t give up a hit during the ninth and 10th innings. In the 11th, the first of his two innings, McHugh rolled a double play to help him keep the game tied.
4. Anderson probably had a better start than his line would indicate. He pitched well but was punished for his final two batters.
He tossed five scoreless innings, then went back out for the sixth. He got an out before walking two batters.
The damage to his line came when Lee allowed the homer. Still, Anderson turned in a nice outing after tossing five innings of one-run baseball in his previous start.
“Tough the way it ended, but obviously a big win for the team to move onto this next series, which is going to be pretty big,” Anderson said. “Definitely a step in the right direction for myself. It’s nice to be able to kind of build off the last one, and just trying to go into the break strong at this point.”
5. Five Braves made the NL All-Star team.
Ronald Acuña, Max Fried, Dansby Swanson, Travis d’Arnaud and William Contreras will represent the club. The Braves haven’t sent five players to the All-Star game since 2011, when they had five representatives.
Braves 4, Nationals 3 (box score)
Stat to know
29-8 - The Braves are 29-8 in their last 37 games.
“Yeah, it’s going to be big. We know how to play from behind in the race, definitely. I think it’s going to be more about just defending our home field. Them coming into here, we want to play the way that we’ve been playing. I’m sure we’ll have really good crowds for the week. It’s more just going to be about playing the way we’ve been playing, and try to take care of business.”-Anderson on the upcoming series with the Mets
Max Fried takes on Max Scherzer as the Braves and Mets play the first of three games at Truist Park. Monday’s series opener begins at 7:20 p.m.