BALTIMORE – Each day, the Braves arrive at the ballpark and believe that day could be the day – the day they turn it around and get hot.

Tuesday was not the day, so they will try again on Wednesday.

The Braves lost to Baltimore, 4-0, in the series opener at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Atlanta is 35-29.

Five observations:

1. Hours before Tuesday’s game, Braves manager Brian Snitker discussed the lineup changes he made ahead of the opener versus the Orioles. At this point, he will try anything to jump-start his offense. He said he would keep pushing buttons.

But when going through a stretch like this, how many buttons are even there to push?

“Yeah, I know. You’re kind of limited, a little bit,” Snitker said after the loss. “I maneuvered with the lineup today hoping maybe to get some guys back in familiar spots. It happens. Maybe I’ll do the same thing tomorrow. I don’t know.”

His tone was that of a manager who doesn’t have the solution – or at least doesn’t want to reveal it publicly. And this is not a knock against Snitker. How could he have the answer for this?

He’s not the one swinging through some pitches, missing others and repeatedly failing to come through in big spots. He’s managing a talented lineup that has been inexplicably quiet for a month and change.

His team simply isn’t playing well.

“It’s a tough loss,” Matt Olson aid. “Felt like we had a couple chances, a couple balls that had a chance.”

We’ll get to those missed opportunities, but first, some context: After not having been shut out since May 12, 2023 – a span of 182 games and 390 days – they have been blanked twice in six games on this road trip.

They’ve lost four straight games and five of their last six. They are 2-5 on this three-city trip.

“You gotta try to keep the spirits up,” Olson said. “Obviously, there’s frustration. We feel like, and know, we’re a better team than what we’ve done as of a late. But baseball is a crazy game. Sometimes it can flip on a dime. All we can do is show up every day and work, and trust that (the day it flips) is today or tomorrow, and just go to work.”

2. At first, it appeared Snitker made the magic decision. Leading off the game, Michael Harris II launched a triple off the tall wall in right field.

The Braves were set up to jump out to an early lead.

The next three batters: Ozzie Albies groundout to shortstop, Austin Riley three-pitch strikeout, Olson pop-up behind first base.

In the second inning, the Braves had the leadoff man on base and eventually stranded two more runners – though Sean Murphy launched what looked to be a three-run homer.

The Braves went 0-for-9 with runners in scoring position. They left 11 men on base.

“Tough to win like that,” Olson said.

Max Fried made one mistake: He hung a 0-2 curveball to Jorge Mateo in the third inning and it became a three-run homer. But because of how his offense is performing, that felt like a gut punch.

Riley came up with two outs and two on in the top of the seventh, but struck out. Twice, he missed out with runners in scoring position. But his night was representative of almost everyone on this team right now.

“He’s just like a handful of them that are scuffling to get it going and get that feel,” Snitker said. “I hate it for them, because those guys, like I say, it hurts them a lot when they don’t come through, because they’re used to coming through.”

3. In the second inning, Murphy blasted a ball that seemed like it would soar over the wall and into the stands. Instead, it landed in a glove.

“I think it’s out at 29 other parks, probably, in baseball,” Snitker said. “He really hit that one well.”

He’s correct: According to Statcast, Murphy’s 392-foot flyout – which left the bat at 104 mph – would’ve been a home run in 29 of 30 ballparks in the sport.

The Braves happen to be playing at the one where it stayed in the yard.

Ahead of the 2022 season, the Orioles moved back the left-field wall. And on this occasion, it became another excruciating example of poor luck for Atlanta.

Another weird occurrence: Before Tuesday, Fried had never given up a homer on an 0-2 breaking ball. He said he knew he left it up because it slipped a bit.

“Baseball is a really funny game,” Fried said. “When you’re riding the highs, it’ll humble you. And when you’re grinding out the lows, it’s gonna be able to lift you up. It always balances out. Obviously, we’ve been going through a little bit of a rough stretch, but everyone’s doing everything that they need to be doing to turn this thing around. Right now, it’s just one game at a time and being able to really just focus and lean on each other. It’s all we got.”

4. With their loss and a Phillies win, the Braves are 10 games behind first-place Philadelphia in the National League East standings. This is the Braves’ largest deficit in the division since the start of play on June 2, 2022, when they trailed the Mets by 10-1/2 games.

Atlanta has 98 games remaining, so there’s time.

But the Braves must play better.

After Tuesday’s loss, their manager repeated something he’s said often in this recent stretch.

“It’s not that we’re not playing well – we’re just not hitting,” Snitker said.

Before the Braves’ game against the Diamondbacks on June 1, 2022, Snitker held a team meeting to remind his players of who they are and how they play. Beginning that afternoon in Phoenix, the Braves won 14 in a row.

To Olson, this stretch feels different.

“That seemed like errors, some lack of focus at times,” he said. “It doesn’t feel like that right now. The bats are asleep right now. But like I said, we’re working. It’s not going our way right now. We’re continuing. Hopefully start a hot streak.”

5. How will the Braves keep their spirits up?

“You know, we’re pretty good about treating each day as a new one,” Olson said. “Good or bad, we’re pretty good about it. So, we just keep that mindset and show up and try to start a winning streak tomorrow.”

Olson said everyone in the clubhouse contributes to this mentality.

“We do a good job of flushing it,” he said. “Everybody knows that each day can be different. Resting on something that happened poorly in the past isn’t going to help you going forward. Obviously, you learn from the experience, figure out what you might need to do to adjust, but every day we’re coming in expecting to win.”

Stat to know

17-23 - Since starting the season 18-6, the Braves are 17-23.


“We got no other choice. Can’t fix what just happened today or what happened yesterday or the day before, we just gotta make sure that we take care of our business (on that day). For us, it’s now getting ready for tomorrow and when we show up tomorrow, nothing in the last couple of days, weeks, months – whatever it is – matters. It’s about winning today’s ballgame.” - Fried on how the Braves will stay calm after a loss like this

Up next

On Wednesday, Spencer Schwellenbach will make his third career start when he faces the Orioles. Baltimore will start left-hander Cade Povich. First pitch is at 6:35 p.m.