BOSTON — Even through their offensive struggles, the Braves carried one of baseball’s more impressive runs forward. They kept it going and added to it, despite not performing up to their potential at the plate.

The streak is over.

For the first time in over a year, the Braves were shut out. Boston defeated them 9-0 on Wednesday at Fenway Park.

The Braves had one hit.

Five observations:

1. On May 12, 2023, in Toronto, the Braves lost to the Blue Jays 3-0. At the time, we did not know they would not be shut out for a long time after that.

The Braves went 390 days between shutouts. Yes, 390 days.

Their 182 games between shutouts was the longest streak in the franchise’s modern history (since 1901). It was the fifth-longest such run in MLB history, since 1901. (In 1931-33, the Yankees were not shut out in 307 games.)

But the Braves’ offensive woes have colored the early part of this season. It is fitting that their shutout streak ended during this slump.

The Braves have talked a lot about how they believe they’re facing great pitching. They faced another terrific pitcher Wednesday: Boston’s Nick Pivetta. And he was executing.

Still, the Braves must find a way out of this funk.

“I definitely think that we’ve seen some really good pitching, but I also would say, too, that we’re the Atlanta Braves, we’re gonna get everybody’s best stuff,” Jarred Kelenic said. “We know what we’re capable of, and I think everybody knows what we’re capable of. We’re definitely not panicking, and we’re just trying to get better each and every day. And I think that’s why this season is 162 games. It’s OK to have a couple bad stretches. The good thing is that we’re feeling good, and we’re just gonna keep doing it.”

2. The Braves’ terrific offensive performance Tuesday seemed like it might signal a turnaround. They have looked a bit better over the past few days, and they appeared as if they may be returning to form.

It apparently won’t be that easy. The Braves haven’t been able to string together good offensive games.

It’s been tough for them to get the train rolling.

“Yeah, it has,” Braves manager Brian Snitker said. “We’re having a hard time doing that. But, you know what, that’s kind of what it’s all about. We’re gonna keep working. We gotta move this thing to another city and try and win another series.”

Asked how the team might explain this, Kelenic said:

“I think that the best explanation, I’d say, is it’s just baseball. Baseball comes in waves and you just gotta try to learn from your mistakes and capitalize on your wins. And I think, as a team, we’re doing a good job of that, but we’ve also had some unlucky stuff. We’ve hit some balls hard right at people. That stuff’s gonna happen, but over the course of 162 games, it’ll even itself out, and we’ll be right where we want to be.”

3. To begin the bottom of the fourth inning, Austin Riley singled.

The Braves never got another hit. In total, only four Braves reached base.

Since the Braves began their run of division crowns, games like this have been rare.

Wednesday was only the fourth time, since the start of 2021, that the Braves have been shut out with one or no hits in a game. The other three times were in 2021, when the Braves went on to win the World Series. And two of those games came in the same doubleheader against Arizona – one of them when Madison Bumgarner hurled a seven-inning no-hitter.

Pivetta threw seven of the nine scoreless innings. He struck out nine.

“I think Pivetta did a really good job of using his off-speed, his secondary stuff,” Kelenic said. “And then it just made his fastball have so much more life to it, and so we had to respect both. I think he was hitting his spots with his whole arsenal, and that just made it tough for us. There’s such a speed differential between his fastball and then his big curveball. He just kept us off-balance all day today.”

4. Two difficult innings – the second and the fifth – doomed Braves starting pitcher Spencer Schwellenbach. He was charged with six earned runs.

Through two starts, he’s allowed nine earned runs over 9-2/3 frames.

What has he learned from these starts that he’ll take moving forward?

“I think just once you get to two strikes, you gotta be really good with your pitches,” he said. “These guys can hit anything you throw at them, and just being smart with locations, I would say.”

That lesson could be learned Wednesday, when Schwellenbach reached two strikes on a handful of guys and couldn’t put them away. His pitch locations weren’t too big of an issue. But this was a learning experience.

Thus far, he seems mature and poised.

“That’s probably the thing that impresses me the most with that kid,” Snitker said. “I think he handles the situations, he doesn’t seem to get sped up. This is kind of an intimidating place to come and pitch. That’s one of the impressive things in his first outing and this one: It didn’t look like the game sped up, it was just more command issues or whatever. And after the game, he was good. There’s a lot of upside, and the intangibles, I think, are gonna be one of his strengths.”

5. In the bottom of the sixth inning, Kelenic dove for a ball and rolled over his wrist while catching it. It was a scary play, but he’s fine.

His X-rays were negative. He said he jammed his wrist.

Kelenic played in the bottom of the seventh inning and caught a fly ball. Snitker hit J.P. Martinez for Kelenic in the top of the eighth because he didn’t deem it necessary for Kelenic to bat again.

The Braves, at that point, were trailing by eight runs. But Kelenic said he could’ve hit if necessary, which is an encouraging sign.

It appears he avoided the worst.

Stat to know

12 – Since 1995, the Braves have had only 11 games in which they’ve been shut out while recording one or no hits. Wednesday was one of them.


“He just was on the attack. It’s like he was on a mission. He was moving his fastball around, secondary stuff was really good. He was working quick, throwing strikes and we just couldn’t do anything with him.” – Snitker on Pivetta

Up next

On Thursday at Nationals Park in Washington, Reynaldo López will pitch against the team that signed him out of the Dominican Republic in 2012. The Braves will face left-hander Mitchell Parker. The game begins at 6:45 p.m.