Historic June Propels Braves to NL East Lead
Cover Photo: USA Today
By. Andrew Rodberg (twitter.com/AndrewRod2019)
ATLANTA, GA— Following a rough start to 2019, where Atlanta was swept by Philadelphia Phillies and nightly watched their bullpen blow saves, the Braves were able to find their bats and take sole control of the NL East in the month of June. With a 30-27 record through the first two months of the year (3 GB of Phillies), the Braves went on an offensive tear to start June and wouldn’t slow down.
With the official call up of 3B/LF prospect Austin Riley, the Braves were able to deepen their lineup while adding another power bat to it’s already strong batting order. In doing so, the offense began to click on all cylinders and started putting up runs only seen in video games. As the bats continued to show up, the struggling bullpen came into form and the Phillies lead began to diminish.
In a quick 12 days, the Phillies 3 game lead was gone and the Braves had taken over. Philadelphia ran into trouble when their outfielders, Andrew McCutchen (tore his ACL) and Odubel Herrera (was put on leave with a domestic violence charge) the offense began to suffer resulting in a long 7 game losing streak. The Braves were able to take full advantage of the situation and did some things only a few teams have been able to accomplish.
In the month of June (through 23 games) the Braves offense was able to produce an organizational best 48 home runs while batting a collective .278. With the offense running rampant, the bullpen was able to get their feet underneath them and pitch without having to be in high leverage situations. With the offense putting on clinics night in and night out, the country began to notice and ultimately sent 7 players to the 2019 All Star Starters Election. (for the All Star game that will held in Cleveland, Ohio on July 9th)
Through those 23 games of June (still 5 games left), the Braves were able to go 17-6 and build a 5.5 game in the division. With the additions of pitchers, Anthony Swarzak (relief) and Dallas Kuechel (starting) the Braves look to continue this great first half of the year and ride their momentum into the second half that starts on July 12th in San Diego.
Continue to support the boys from the A as they try to return to the Postseason.
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