By Josh Horton
The Braves took the field Saturday looking to bounce back as they sent rookie Bryse Wilson to the mound for just his second major league start. Atlanta would jump out in front early as they manufactured a run in the first due to a lead-off triple from Ender Inciarte, followed later that inning by a Freddie Freeman RBI single.
After a scoreless first from Wilson, the Braves would further their lead as shortstop Dansby Swanson would turn on an inside fastball and hit a 2-run shot to left. The Phillies would strike back however, as Wilson started to struggle and give up an RBI single to J.T. Realmuto in the second and would give up 3 in the fourth on a Cesar Hernandez RBI triple, followed by a Maikel Franco 2-run home run.
Aside from an RBI single from Freddie Freeman, his second of the day, the Phillies would pull away on homers from new Philadelphia acquisitions J.T. Realmuto and Bryce Harper as well as an RBI single from Franco. The Braves tried to spark a rally in the ninth with a pinch-hit homer from Charlie Culberson, but it would prove too little too late as the Braves would drop game 2 of the series 8-6.
Reliever Alex Morgan would pick up the win for the Phillies, his first of the year. Wilson picked up a no decision on 3.1 innings of 4-run, 4-strikeout ball and Wes Parsons would pick up the loss for the Braves.
Things were not much better for the Braves on Sunday as the took the field on a national stage for the first time in 2019 on Sunday Night Baseball.
They would send rookie Kyle Wright to the mound, making the Braves the first team in a decade to start two rookies in the first series of the season. Outside from multiple walks from both Wright and Phillies starter Jake Arietta, things remained quiet until the third when the Braves would manufacture a run on a passed ball, scoring Josh Donaldson.
The Phillies would respond immediately with a 382-foot homer from Andrew McCutchen, his second of the series. In the fifth the Braves would run into control issues with four walks and one HBP that would result in the Phillies scoring two runs without recording a hit in the fifth.
The Phillies would control the game from this point as the Braves could only tally one hit for the remainder of the game. The Phillies would score on a Bryce Harper home run, his second game in a row with a homer, and a Maikel Franco RBI single that would secure the 5-1 victory for the Phillies. Jake Arrieta would pick up the win for the Phillies, going 6 innings giving up 1 run on 3 hits and 6 walks.
Wright would pick up the loss in his first start walking 5 in just 4.1 innings and giving up 3 runs.
The Braves bullpen was the main struggle this series as in 8 innings of bullpen work, the Braves would give up 10 hits, 9 walks, and 13 earned runs. Another negative trend was walks by the entire pitching staff this series as the Braves would record 20 walks, coming close to the franchise record of 25 walks in a 3-game series.
The Braves will return home to SunTrust Park Monday for their home-opener against the Cubs in a 3-game series. Atlanta will send Sean Newcomb to the mound Monday, Julio Teheran to the mound Wednesday and Max Fried will make the last start of the series Thursday.