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The Atlanta Braves lost in heartbreaking fashion to the Arizona Diamondbacks on Tuesday night, in part thanks to their own volition.
Atlanta held a 6-2 lead in the top of the sixth inning, but with 3.5 more innings (plus extras) of baseball left, no lead was safe. The Braves found this out the hard way.
It’s been a tough year for the reigning champs. The offense has yet to come alive, while a slew of injuries to their pitching staff (as has been the case across baseball) has left Atlanta scrambling. Meanwhile, former franchise icon Freddie Freeman is enjoying his time with the NL West-leading Dodgers.
Tuesday’s loss to Arizona was more of the same — flashes of brilliance turned late-inning doom due to some curious decisions, and not just by Brian Snitker.
Diamondbacks walk off the Braves
Atlanta reliever Brett Stephens recorded just one out in the bottom of the tenth. But two base hits in quick succession erased the Braves’ one-run lead, and instead turned optimism into dread faster than you can say ‘Battery’ with a southern draw.
Brian Snitker forgets to challenge
A close play at second base should’ve been challenged by Snitker in the early innings, thus giving the middle of the lineup a chance with two runners on. The baserunner at second, who was called out on the play, was never tagged nor was the based touched.
Snitker did nothing, instead allowing the umpires to get away with making the wrong call. Safe to say doing nothing was a bad decision on Snitker’s part — or whoever gives him advice on replay reviews.
Missed opportunities at third base
Both Ronald Acuña and Marcell Ozuna were thrown out at third base in this game — a feat which should never happen on a disciplined ball-club. But that’s the thing…perhaps this club isn’t as disciplined as they used to be.
Whether that’s the loss of veteran leadership like Freeman, or a lack of coaching, players need to be held accountable when making a vital out at third base.