Takeaways from the Braves’ series loss to the Giants (2024)

The Atlanta Braves dropped a 4-2 decision to the San Francisco Giants Thursday and lost the series to even their record on their current homestand at 3-3. Atlanta is nine games back of the NL East-leading Phillies, who will arrive at Truist Park for a three-game series Friday.

Braves suffer rare series loss to Giants

The series loss to San Francisco was Atlanta’s first since the 2016 season. Atlanta dropped the opener 5-3 Tuesday and then won 3-1 Wednesday behind another strong effort from Chris Sale. Thursday’s 4-2 loss continued a trend. The Braves are 41-7 on the season when they hold their opponents to three runs or less. However, they are just 6-31 when their opponent scores four or more runs. Even worse, they have dropped 27 straight when opponents score at least four runs. The last time the Braves won a game where their opponent scored at least four runs was back on April 17 in Houston when they beat the Astros 5-4.

The loss also snapped a three-game winning streak by the Braves on July 4. Atlanta is 28-17 in games played on Independence Day since moving to Atlanta in 1966.

Chris Sale continues dominant first half

Sale allowed one run and struck out nine over six innings in Wednesday’s win lowering his ERA to 2.71 and his FIP to 2.24 for the season. Sale also picked up his 11th win of the season which leads the National League and is tied for the major league lead. Wins don’t mean as much for pitchers nowadays but no Braves pitcher has won 12 games before the All-Star break since Jair Jurrjens did it in 2011. More importantly, Sale is now second in fWAR among starting pitchers, and first in the NL. That he’s managed this despite having one to three fewer starts than most of the guys immediately behind him in the fWAR race is even more impressive.

Unfortunately, Jurrjens finished the season with a 13-6 record as he battled a knee injury in the second half. He missed all of September.

Adam Duvall showing signs of life

Adam Duvall went hitless in Thursday’s loss, snapping a five-game hitting steak. The veteran outfielder has struggled for just about the entire season, so any sign of progress is a welcomed sight. He recorded three hits in Wednesday’s game, which was his first multi-hit game since June 13. Duvall had seven hits during his five-game streak. That was the same total he had in his previous 17 games before the streak started.

While Duvall’s struggles have certainly caused some angst among the fan base, he has severely underperformed his metrics, like so many of his teammates. Duvall entered Thursday with a .256 wOBA and a .319 xwOBA. If you are curious, he had a .304 xwOBA last season, where he posted a 116 wRC+ in 92 games with the Red Sox.

Duvall is striking out less, walking more, and entered Thursday with virtually the same barrel percentage and hard hit rate as last season. He is a notoriously streaky hitter so it wouldn’t be surprising to see him put together a run.

Austin Riley continues to swing a hot bat

Austin Riley was 1-for-3 with a double and a sacrifice fly in Thursday’s loss. He’s hitting .364 with seven home runs and has a 1.207 OPS over his last 18 games dating back to June 14. He has 13 extra-base hits during that span which matches his total from the previous 50 games. This looks to be yet another incredible stretch from a guy who basically defines his seasons by doing reasonably well much of the time, and playing incredibly well for about six weeks each year.

Raisel Iglesias moving up career saves list

Braves closer Raisel Iglesias picked up his 21st save of the season in Wednesday’s win. That extended his consecutive saves streak to 13-straight games which is the fifth longest streak in the majors. Iglesias has 211 saves for his career which ranks him 50th on the all-time list. He is one save behind Mets’ closer Edwin Diaz. Iglesias has 55 saves since joining the Braves which ties him with Mike Stanton for eighth all time on the franchise list. He is two saves behind Rick Camp for seventh place. Craig Kimbrel is the franchise leader with 186 saves.

No homers, big problems

The Braves hit back-to-back homers in the series opener, and then didn’t leave the yard for the rest of the series. They are 12-19 when they don’t homer this year. While some past disappointing stretches have been marked by barreled outs and would-be homers dying on the track, the Braves have also interspersed straight-up poor hitting with unlucky hitting here and there. Given how many wins they’ve already given away because those barreled balls haven’t left the yard, they probably can’t afford to take an actual step back offensively, either.

Takeaways from the Braves’ series loss to the Giants (2024)
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