The Braves were a couple of innings from sweeping a two-game set against the Phillies. Instead, they settled for a split with Wednesday’s 3-1 loss.

Here are five observations on the Braves (63-42):

1. Manager Brian Snitker always says it.

In games against good teams, inches often decide outcomes. Wednesday provided a perfect example.

In the eighth inning, Collin McHugh rolled a would-be, inning-ending double play. But J.T. Realmuto, who has elite speed – especially for a catcher – was ruled safe at first base after the Phillies challenged the play.

A run scored on that play, and the next batter, Nick Castellanos, blasted a two-run shot off McHugh. The Braves had led by a run and then found themselves down two.

“That was a matter of inches, and we get out of that inning,” Snitker said.

2. In his last start, Charlie Morton fell apart in a sloppy fifth inning versus … the Phillies.

On Wednesday, he completed the sixth inning, then pitched into the seventh … against those same Phillies. Morton shut out Philadelphia for 6 ⅔ innings, allowing only three hits.

“That’s the kind of outing that keeps you up at night because you know you’re close enough there to at least get through six quality innings,” Morton said of his previous outing. “Even in that game, I felt like I threw the ball well. There was a leadoff walk, and it’s kind of like guys were running on me, and it just got sloppy. That was still in my mind.”

Morton struck out eight and walked one. He has a 4.09 ERA.

3. On MLB.com, which offers pitch-tracking, you can see where certain pitches landed. McHugh appeared to throw Castellanos a low slider.

It looked like a good pitch.

Not to McHugh.

“Nah, it wasn’t a good pitch, it was a middle-middle slider, and Castellanos put a real good swing on it,” McHugh said.

4. Here we go again.

Braves and Mets. Five games in four days at Citi Field. First place in the National League East on the line. Baseball fans couldn’t ask for more, and neither could the teams.

“That’s why we play this thing,” Snitker said. “When you look at the schedule and everything, you hope you’re in it this weekend, and we are. And we’re playing the guys that are ahead of us. Shoot, after you play 100-and-whatever games, this is where you want to be. You want to be in this position, where these games are big. After the All-Star break, man, this thing starts throttling forward, and this is what it’s all about.”

If the Braves dominate, they can take sole possession of first place. The teams will play seven games against one another after this weekend, but this series is massive.

“I don’t know if it benefits us to really put too much stock into the series,” Morton said. “There’s obvious implications – there’s playoff implications and also momentum implications. If you come out of that series and you played really well and you won some of those games, you feel really good about where you’re at. I think that’s the important thing, I think, is to set us up for the series that come after that series.”

5. On Tuesday night, the baseball world lost a legend as Vin Scully, the Dodgers’ iconic broadcaster, died at 94.

Snitker met Scully and talked to him a few times over the years. Some of Snitker’s fondest memories of Scully came on Sunday mornings, when team personnel could attend a pregame Mass in a stadium club at Dodger Stadium. At Mass, Scully would do the readings.

“I’d sit there and I’d close my eyes and I swear to God, I felt like I was in heaven listening to God do the readings,” Snitker said.

Snitker has Scully’s autograph. He feels grateful to have been around Scully.

“He had a great life,” Snitker said. “If you’re a sports fan, Vin Scully left an impression on you. I was proud to know that I sat and talked to him every now and then. He’s just such a wonderful, wonderful man. That was really cool. And I hate that he passed away, but I know he left a lot of people a lot better off.”

Phillies 3, Braves 1 (box score)

Stat to know

7 – Since the start of last season, Morton has turned in seven starts in which he has gone at least 6 ⅔ scoreless innings. Over that span, only five pitchers have more such starts.

Quotable

“It’s going to be great baseball. Two of the best teams in the league fighting it out for first place. We know what they’re capable of. They know what we’re capable of. We’ve been playing some good baseball of late. Putting this behind us is what we have to do always.” – McHugh on the Mets series

Up next

Right-hander Kyle Wright will start the opener against the Mets, which begins at 7:10 p.m. Thursday at Citi Field.