The game’s first storyline came with the starting pitcher situations for each team.
Atlanta sent out Spencer Strider, who has the most strikeouts in all of Major League Baseball and has a 1.56 ERA against the Phillies for his career.
Philadelphia was in a different situation, a potential piggyback plan with Cristopher Sánchez and Michael Lorenzen with the attempt to reset the bullpen.
Strider caught a break early, he hit Trea Turner in the elbow with one out. Bryce Harper lined a fastball right to Matt Olson, who stepped on the bag to record a double play.
On the very first pitch for Sánchez, Ronald Acuña Jr. got a first-pitch fastball and didn’t miss it.
With two outs, Matt Olson punched a sinker into center field for a base hit followed by a Marcell Ozuna walk. Sánchez worked out of the jam by getting Travis d’Arnaud to ground out.
In the bottom of the third, the Braves started to put together a threat. With one out, Ozzie Albies took a slider well below the zone up the middle for a single. Austin Riley on the next pitch took a changeup just past the reach of Bryson Stott at second base.
With Riley on first and Albies on third, Sánchez was able to force an Olson ground ball to second for an inning-ending double play.
While Sánchez was trying to get through the Braves order, Strider was making the first four innings look easy.
In just 51 pitches, Strider was keeping the Phillies off-balance. His fastball recorded four swings and misses but his slider, in a lesser sample size, was able to get Philly hitters out in front six times. Strider recorded seven strikeouts, including two to Kyle Schwarber.
The bottom of the fourth presented another jam for Sánchez. First was a leadoff single by Ozuna into center field. d’Arnaud got a slider to pull down the left field line to put runners on second and third.
With one out, Kevin Pillar took a slider right up the middle to make it 3-0. Sánchez got out of the inning with a Michael Harris double play but the damage was done.
That was the end of Sánchez’s night. They’re limiting his workload down the stretch since he’s well over his career high in innings (and I hope it’s for a potential playoff start too).
Michael Lorenzen came in as scheduled for the fifth inning. Acuña started the inning off with a single, followed by an Albies single to put runners on first and third.
Austin Riley worked a ten-pitch plate appearance to load the bases. Olson worked a six-pitch plate appearance of his own to make it 4-0.
Ozuna then pulled a fastball down the left-field line to bring home to more.
Lorenzen got into another contested battle with d’Arnaud, who worked another walk on a nine-pitch plate appearance to load the bases again.
On pitch number 37, Lorenzen finally got his first out of the inning with an Orlando Arcia sacrifice fly to make it 7-0.
Yunior Marté came in to try to get the fifth’s final two outs. He got Eddie Rosario to strike out followed by a Michael Harris II ground ball.
Strider sat for a long time because of how long the fifth was and ran into trouble. Johan Rojas and Kyle Schwarber hit back-to-back one-out singles. After a Turner force out at second, Bryce Harper got a fastball and did not miss it.
Marté came back out for the sixth but had to face Acuña, who took a slider to dead center field to extend the Braves lead.
After an Albies walk, Riley smoked a single that went off the third base bag to put runners on first and third. After an Olson strikeout, Ozuna jammed a single over the head of Turner to make it 9-3.
Strider was done after seven innings, striking out 11 with 17 whiffs. His one bad inning was after a long layoff. It was safe to say he had his way against the Phillies tonight.
Seranthony Domínguez worked a scoreless seventh as the Phillies keep trying to reset him. He recorded one swing and miss, not exactly what the team is looking for.
The Phillies could not do much against the Braves bullpen this time. AJ Minter and Joe Jiménez worked scoreless eighth and ninth innings to wrap up a casual Braves win.
Aaron Nola will take the ball against Bryce Elder to wrap up this three-game series. Nola is looking to turn his September around as he has an 8.56 ERA in his prior three starts.