Braves reeling after playoff flop, but excited for future

More than 4 months of dazzling baseball carried the Atlanta Braves to a 5th directly NL East identify. Their hopes of repeating as World Series champion fell aside in lower than per week.

The season got here to an unattainable finish with two dismal performances in Philadelphia, the place the Braves have been outscored 17-4 and misplaced the Division Series 3-1 to a Phillies workforce they beat through 14 video games all through the common season.

“Man, I’m disappointed,” supervisor Brian Snitker stated Sunday, lower than 24 hours after the overall sport. “Just remembering what we went through this year, and expecting to (win the World Series) again.”

Instead, the Braves made their earliest go out from the postseason since 2019.

The wild-card Phillies at the moment are heading to the Championship Series, their identify hopes nonetheless alive whilst two 101-win groups that fought to the cord for the department identify are all executed.

The Braves climbed again from a ten 1/2-game deficit to chase down the Mets, sweeping New York at the ultimate weekend of the season and successful the dramatic pennant race on a tiebreaker to earn the first-round bye.

The Mets have been disillusioned within the opening around through the San Diego Padres. Atlanta went down subsequent, doomed through deficient beginning pitching, an offense that unexpectedly went chilly and a bullpen that could not stay it shut with the season at the line.

“We didn’t do a lot of things well,” Snitker said. “We’re a better team than the way we played in this Division Series.”

For excellent measure, a evident loss of hustle through one of the crucial workforce’s highest gamers, Ronald Acuña Jr., marred the decisive sport and sparked a tirade from workforce radio announcer Joe Simpson, who known as it “embarrassing.”

Still, Snitker stated his largest reminiscence of this workforce would be the method it fought again to catch the Mets. The future for sure seems to be vibrant, with many of the younger core locked as much as long-term contracts and just about everybody set to go back in 2023.

“We have a great team. We really do,” basic supervisor Alex Anthopoulos stated. “You have to turn the page at some point.”

Snitker, too, is excited about what the future holds.

“We have talented players,” he said. “We’ll reconvene in March and the goal is going to be to win the division again.”

SWANSON’S FAREWELL?

The largest query heading the offseason is the standing of shortstop Dansby Swanson, who is ready to grow to be a unfastened agent.

After successful the World Series a 12 months in the past, the Braves misplaced longtime first baseman and workforce chief Freddie Freeman in unfastened company.

Another Atlanta stalwart may well be headed out the door this iciness, even though each the Braves and Swanson have expressed a want to get a brand new deal executed.

That was once the case with Freeman, too, but he now performs for the Dodgers.

BABY BRAVES

The Braves have the 2 main applicants for NL rookie of the 12 months — outfielder Michael Harris II and pitcher Spencer Strider — and locked them each as much as long contracts even if they have been years clear of being eligible for unfastened company.

Harris, 21, was once introduced up from Double-A to reinforce the workforce’s protection and wound up being one of the crucial Braves’ highest all-around gamers. He hit .297 with 19 homers, 64 RBIs and 20 stolen bases.

The hard-throwing Strider, nonetheless a couple of days from his twenty fourth birthday, solidified the rotation whilst grow to be the 1st pitcher in baseball historical past to file 200 strikeouts and surrender fewer than 100 hits.

WHO’S THE CLOSER?

Kenley Jansen had a large season, main the NL with 41 saves after signing a $16 million, one-year take care of the Braves.

Anthopoulos stated he’d love to deliver Jansen again, but the Braves produce other choices if the 35-year-old indicators somewhere else.

Former Angels nearer Raisel Iglesias was once got on the industry time limit and thrived in a set-up function to Jansen. He’s additionally had a couple of 30-save seasons and is beneath contract to Braves for 3 extra years at $48 million.

Another choice is Kirby Yates, who struggled in restricted appearances getting back from Tommy John surgical procedure but additionally has enjoy as a better. He was once an All-Star who led the NL with 41 saves whilst pitching for San Diego in 2019.

STARTING QUESTIONS

Kyle Wright led the majors with 21 wins, Max Fried had some other robust season and Strider seems to be to have a particularly vibrant future.

Beyond that, there are questions marks within the rotation.

Charlie Morton will go back to the Braves on a $20 million, one-year deal, offering quite a few enjoy but desiring to strengthen on an up-and-down season.

The different beginning applicants all include luggage.

Former All-Star Mike Soroka hasn’t pitched within the giant leagues since 2020 after two times tearing an Achilles tendon, whilst Ian Anderson continued a depressing season that led the Braves to ship the once-budding big name again to the minors.

Bryce Elder and Kirk Muller have quite a few promise but little giant league enjoy.

ACUNA’S MATURITY

It’s time for Acuña to satisfy his possible.

He will also be certainly one of baseball’s largest stars, but his numbers coming off a season-ending knee damage in 2021 have been slightly strange (15 homers, 50 RBIs, 29 stolen bases).

Also, his loss of hustle within the season’s ultimate sport wasn’t the 1st time his paintings ethic and cocky taste of play have drawn scrutiny.

In the NLDS, Acuña didn’t again up a play from his right-field place, slightly transferring till it was once a ways too past due to stop J.T. Realmuto’s inside-the-park homer as Philadelphia romped to a series-clinching 8-3 win.

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