With the completion of the 2018 Atlanta Braves season, we will look back at the ups and downs of the year.
The 2018 season for the Atlanta Braves was more than any fan could have expected in spring training. Even as the season did not end with a World Series title, returning to the playoffs was a huge step for the organization, and we look forward to the next few seasons with the team!
We will be reviewing each month of the season, looking at the highlights and the lowlights of each month, remembering some of the biggest games of the month as well. Check the links for each month as we progress through the year in our review:
Team record: 10-13
Team slash line: .256/.319/.414/.733
Team home runs: 23
Team ERA: 4.68
Team WHIP: 1.32
Team K/9: 8.8
Biggest game of the month
July saw two Atlanta Braves players start the All-Star game as Freddie Freeman and Nick Markakis each started for the National League squad. They were joined on the team by Ozzie Albies and Mike Foltynewicz.
Coming out of the All-Star break, the Atlanta Braves had a re-shuffled lineup. For the first time, Ronald Acuna, Jr. started the game in the leadoff spot of the order as the Braves took on Stephen Strasburg and the Washington Nationals.
As the Braves did in 2018 so well, they came out strong against Strasburg. His first plate appearance as a leadoff hitter was a 6-pitch at-bat before Acuna laced a hard single to deep center field that would have been extra bases had it not been so hard hit. No matter. Acuna stole second base on the second pitch of Ozzie Albies at bat.
Ozzie followed with a drive down the left field line for a double that scored Acuna. Albies also took off on the run to third base, stealing the base.
Freddie Freeman slapped a ground ball against the shift that allowed Albies to score Atlanta’s second run of the game in the first inning.
The Nationals responded with an incredible steal of home to get their first run in the bottom of the first. Matt Adams hit a solo home run in the bottom of the 3rd inning.
The Atlanta Braves put together a pair of doubles in the 4th from Kurt Suzuki and Johan Camargo to score a run. With a 3-2 lead in the 5th inning, Ronald Acuna started another offensive rally, hitting a double. Charlie Culberson followed with a single to advance Acuna to third.
Freddie Freeman hit a double behind first base to score both runners, and as they attempted to throw out Culberson, Freeman made a mad dash to third base. Nick Markakis hit a fly ball to center to bring in Freeman and give Atlanta a 6-2 lead.
Four more home runs were hit in the game, but that 4th inning was the icing in the game, and the Atlanta Braves finished off an 8-5 victory.
In his first game as a leadoff hitter, Acuna had gone 3-4, scoring 3 runs and drawing a walk. He hit a solo home run in the 8th inning. He saw 17 pitches on the day and stole two bases. There was a new atmosphere with the Atlanta Braves going forward from that day as they had a leader in their lineup.
Let’s look at the top hitter and top pitcher from the month…