Austin Riley’s ‘legit’ numbers rank among NL’s best

A scan of National League statistics underscores the special season that Braves third baseman Austin Riley is assembling.

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Through Sunday afternoon’s game, he was second in the league in total bases with 237 (one behind teammate Freddie Freeman), was fifth in hits with 132, was tied for fifth (alongside teammates Adam Duvall and Freeman) in home runs with 27 and was among the league’s top 10 in RBIs (76), batting average (.297), slugging percentage (.533) and OPS (.904).

Austin Riley stats

“You look up there at his numbers ... that’s no joke, the year he’s putting together,” Braves manager Brian Snitker said. “That’s real now. You can fake that out a little bit early in the year, but when you get down to this time of year sporting (those numbers), that’s legit.”

Snitker also praised Riley’s defensive play, calling him “a very competent defender.”

Riley hit his 27th homer of the season Saturday, his fourth during the Braves’ road trip to Washington, Miami and Baltimore. He went 0-for-4 in the final game of the trip Sunday. In 35 games since the All-Star break, he is hitting .343/.400/.679 with 13 homers (second most in the majors since the break) and 34 RBIs.

“This game is all about being consistent,” Riley said. “To be able to start to put together offense and defense, that’s the goal.”

Matzek’s streak

Braves reliever Tyler Matzek has a career-best 16-1/3-inning scoreless streak after working 1-1/3 innings Saturday and 1/3-inning Sunday. He has struck out 20, walked five and allowed just five hits during that stellar stretch.

He hasn’t been scored upon in his past 18 outings, dating to July 11, and has the fourth-longest active scoreless streak in the majors. He has lowered his ERA for the season to 2.25, down from 4.91 at the end of April.

“His stuff is electric,” Braves starting pitcher Drew Smyly said. “I don’t think he realizes how good his stuff is. He’s got four pitches that are really, really good plus-pitches. ... He is going to be good for a long time to come.”