“I don’t think I believed it at the time, but now watching him play and getting to know him, I think he just runs at that lower level,” Olson said after Sunday’s win. “It’s awesome.”
Harris often looks like a seasoned veteran in the biggest spots. He ambushed the first pitch of the ninth inning and sent it over the wall for a game-tying homer. Harris has six homers and 13 RBIs in innings seven through nine this season. He has been clutch.
His composure in those spots seems rare for his age (21).
“I’ve seen some guys like that,” manager Brian Snitker said. “Brian McCann was like that, (Jeff) Francoeur and them guys. They live for that moment. That’s kind of what these guys, these ballplayers, live for. With Mike, it’s a slow heartbeat.”
2. The Braves – the players, coaches and front office members – must take it one day at a time. The rest of us, however, can look ahead.
And since the last series against the Mets ended, everyone has looked toward the next one. It is here. New York visits Atlanta for four games, beginning Monday. Then, Truist Park will host the Astros for three games.
“All the series are big,” Snitker said. “They’re all tough. From here on out, every game’s going to be big, every series is going to be big. It doesn’t matter who you’re playing, they’re all big right now – which is where you want to be. That’s why we’ve worked so hard from February until now to get in that position.”
The Mets are undefeated in 16 series versus National League East opponents this season. This is the longest intradivision streak by a club to start a season since the 1999 Braves won 16 in-division series in a row, according to ESPN Stats & Info.
3. The Braves are 5 ½ games behind the Mets with 46 games to play. Seven of those are against the Mets. All seven are at Truist Park.
“I’m really excited,” Harris said of the upcoming series. “Their fans were doing what they needed to do, and I’m pretty sure our fans will do the same thing and give us the energy to do what we need to do against them. I’m just eager to get back to Braves Country and play in front of them.”
Added Olson: “We played a great last week of baseball. Just do the same thing. Different opponent – obviously a really good team. But go back home and play the same baseball we’ve been playing the last six or seven days.”
4. When Bryce Elder came up and made four starts earlier in the season, he said he was a bit passive.
On Sunday, he attacked.
“I think it’s confidence,” he said, “and also figuring out I can throw it to this spot right here, and if they hit it, they hit it. If they beat it in the ground, they beat it in the ground. If they swing and miss, they swing and miss. It is what it is. Just simplifying things and being confident. Just rolling it out there.”
He had a career high in innings and strikeouts.
“I think this one just kind of shows if you make good pitches – not great ones, just good ones – you’re going to have success, for the most part,” Elder said.
5. Here’s something that must be remembered now and in the near future: Kyle Muller, Ian Anderson and Elder – all not currently part of the rotation – stepped in and gave the Braves great starts.
“It was huge,” Olson said. “Those guys stepped in and had outstanding starts. We obviously had a couple things going on and some guys getting moved around. It was big for them to come out and give us those innings.”
Elder tossed seven innings of one-run baseball, with 10 strikeouts, on Sunday. In Game 1 of Saturday’s doubleheader, Muller allowed two runs over five innings. Anderson gave up two runs over six innings.
All are headed to Triple-A, but they did their jobs.
“You see what the advantage is of leaving guys to pitch and to season and develop in Triple-A,” Snitker said of Elder and Muller.
Braves 3, Marlins 1 (box score)
Stat to know
11 – In Sunday’s ninth-inning rally, Vaughn Grissom worked an 11-pitch walk and eventually scored the go-ahead run.
“I just like those moments, and I tend to feed off of those. It’s just something I’ve been doing my whole life pretty much, trying to live up to the big-time moments.” – Harris
Braves right-hander Spencer Strider will face Mets right-hander Carlos Carrasco in Monday’s series opener, which begins at 7:20 p.m.