All season, the Braves have responded after difficult losses.

They did it again.

After a rain delay that lasted 2 hours and 55 minutes before first pitch, the Braves defeated the Phillies 3-0 in Game 2 of the National League Division Series on Wednesday at Truist Park. The best-of-five series is even at 1-1.

Here are five observations:

1. Often, coaches and players downplay games and moments. They are not liars. Rather, their industry is built on a need to remain even-keeled through anything and everything.

Everyone knew what Game 2 meant.

The Braves could not afford to go down two games and head to Philadelphia with their season on the line. They needed a win. And in an important game, they delivered – again.

“I think we just never lose that faith,” Ronald Acuña said through interpreter Franco García. “We never lose that energy. We maintain that focus, and we know that we got to play to 27 outs, and we feel like you know, if there haven’t been 27 outs, we still have a chance.”

Whereas Max Fried faltered in Game 1, Kyle Wright shined in Game 2. Whereas the offense couldn’t capitalize in Game 1, it did so in Game 2.

This series is even as it heads to Philadelphia. The Braves, who have bounced back from losses all season, did so again.

“They don’t get caught up in the moment,” manager Brian Snitker said of his players. “They keep a slow heartbeat and stay in the moment.”

2. “He knew how important this was, right?” Braves pitching coach Rick Kranitz said of Wright. “And he stepped up.”

During the lengthy delay, Wright tried to stay loose. He enjoyed extra time around teammates, watched TV and played on his phone a bit. He stayed calm.

Versus a hot Phillies club, Wright hurled six shutout innings, allowing only two hits. He outdueled Zack Wheeler, further validating his breakout season.

“They have to embrace the moment, but they also have to not try to do more than what they’re capable of doing,” Kranitz said. “And that’s what I loved about today’s game – he went out, and he basically had better stuff and better command than he had in probably a couple weeks. It’s all been good, but today was a special one for me.”

3. The Braves continue sending the same message over and over: They can hit, and beat, anyone.

This time, Wheeler fell victim, pitching five one-hit innings before running into a buzz saw. In an instant, he had allowed three runs to one of baseball’s top offenses, which electrified a home crowd.

“That’s just the team we are,” Michael Harris said. “We’re going to fight, no matter who’s on the mound.”

There were two outs in the inning.

In minutes, the Braves had scored three runs.

Wheeler hit Acuña with a 96 mph fastball. Dansby Swanson then worked a six-pitch walk.

Matt Olson followed it by hitting a 101.3 mph grounder that got past first baseman Rhys Hoskins and scored Acuña. Then, Austin Riley hit a dribbler into no man’s land that scored another run before Travis d’Arnaud singled up the middle to bring home a third.

This inning encapsulated why the Braves are so dangerous. Wheeler had kept them relatively quiet before they struck in what became his final inning.

“When guys are going like that,” Olson said, “just gotta find a way to make something happen.”

4. This season, Wright has displayed incredible poise. In this respect, he’s looked like a different pitcher from years past.

The latest example came in the second inning, when Bryce Harper doubled to lead off the frame.

In a big game, with Wheeler on the other side, Wright couldn’t give up or give in against Philadelphia.

The three Phillies who followed Harper: Flyout, groundout, strikeout.

“And that’s what big-time pitchers do, is they have the ability to make those kinds of pitches when it’s on the line, in the biggest moments,” Kranitz said.

5. Acuña stayed in the game after Wheeler hit him with a fastball. It was a scary situation, as Acuña appeared to be in obvious pain.

“To be honest, I was hurting pretty bad,” the outfielder said, “but there was no way I was going to get out of that game.”

How does it feel now?

“We won -- everything feels good,” he said.

Stat to know

9 - Since 2019, the Braves’ nine postseason shutouts are the most in the majors.


“We were confident off him from the beginning, we just weren’t getting balls to drop and finding holes. We got a runner on base, and we just made the most of the opportunity and scored some runs.” - Harris on the Braves’ battle with Wheeler

Up next

The teams have an off-day Thursday, as the series moves to Philadelphia. Game 3 will be at 4:37 p.m. Friday. The Braves have not announced a Game 3 starting pitcher.