Atlanta Braves Simulation Recap: March

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The real-life Braves have yet to pick up bats in 2020. However, the Atlanta Braves simulation is about to begin its first full month. With the COVID-19 pandemic cutting off the beginning of the MLB season, the virtual world has come through with baseball simulations courtesy of Out of the Park Baseball 21. Baseball-Reference maintains the stats per usual.

Here are the results of the first six games in the Atlanta Braves simulation.

Game 1: March 26, Braves @ Diamondbacks

The D-Backs jumped on Mike Soroka and the Braves early with a pair of first-inning runs. The Starling Marte party began as he stroked a double in his first at-bat. He was subsequently driven home. Atlanta finally struck back with an Ozzie Albies two-out RBI double in the top of the third inning, driving in Ender Inciarte.

The Diamondbacks scratched another run across in the third and fourth innings, extending the lead to 4-1. In the top of the fifth, Nick Markakis stepped in to bat for Soroka, striking out in the process. In the bottom half of the frame, Shane Greene came onto the mound and promptly loaded the bases. With two outs in the inning, Christian Walker tattooed a baseball into the seats at Chase Field.

The high octane run environment became scarce as Adeiny Hechavarria was the only runner in scoring position after Walker’s grand slam.

The Diamondbacks won 8-1. Robbie Ray got the win with 11 strikeouts in 5.2 innings, scattering a pair of hits and a pair of walks. Mike Soroka was tagged with the loss as his four earned runs in four innings soured Opening Day. New Diamondback, Junior Guerra picked up a save, allowing three baserunners in 3.1 innings.

Walker picks up Player of the Game honors with a three-hit and five-RBI night.

Game 2: March 27, Braves @ Diamondbacks

In Madison Bumgarner’s Arizona debut, he was dominant. In 7.2 innings, he struck out six and allowed just one run on an Ozzie Albies’ double. Max Fried had a solid outing, but a pair of runs came across in the fifth.

The bats were quiet for the Braves as Freddie Freeman and Marcell Ozuna went their second consecutive game without a hit. Ronald Acuna got on-base once, but he was caught stealing.

Hechavarria has proven to be the most reliable Braves hitter as he picked up three hits including a pair of doubles.

The Diamondbacks only managed six hits, but they drew a quartet of walks as well. Nick Ahmed has had a poor start to the season, but the rest of the bats have provided timely hitting.

Bumgarner notched his first career win with the D-Backs as Fried took the loss. Andrew Chafin picked up a hold, and Archie Bradley grabbed the save despite allowing two baserunners in the ninth.

Madison Bumgarner earned Player of the Game honors with his 7.2 innings of well-pitched action.

Game 3: March 28, Braves @ Diamondbacks

Facing a 0-3 start in the Atlanta Braves simulation, the Braves started hot with a first-inning RBI double. Mike Foltynewicz settled into a rhythm and was able to sit down the D-Backs without a run in four of his five innings.

In the top of the third, Ronald Acuna broke the game open with a two-run homer. With the lead up to five, Foltynewicz surrendered the only runs that he would allow, trimming the lead to 5-2.

In the top of the sixth, Johan Camargo got on-base via walk, and he was immediately driven home by a Marcell Ozuna triple, his first hit of the season. Ozuna joined Camargo in scoring, and a third run was scored in the inning.

The Braves tacked on another run in the seventh. Shane Greene and AJ Minter held the D-Backs off the scoreboard, but Starling Marte drove Stephen Vogt home with a ninth-inning RBI double.

The Braves won 9-3 with Foltynewicz picking up the win. Zac Gallen got the loss after 2.1 innings. He allowed five runs and eight baserunners while only recording four outs.

Ronald Acuna won Player of the Game with his home run and three RBI.

Game 4: March 29, Braves @ Padres

In the final game of the series, Bryse Wilson and Luke Weaver squared off. The Braves jumped out to an early off the heels of a Travis d’Arnaud two-run homer. In the bottom of the third, Wilson forced the D-Backs to two outs in the inning before back-to-back doubles from David Peralta and Ketel Marte tied the game at two after an inning-extending error kept the Diamondbacks alive. Arizona scratched another run across in the fourth and in the sixth to knock Wilson out of the game. In the sixth, the D-Backs added a pair of runs after Wilson exited, extending the lead to 6-2.

The Atlanta bats continued to sputter as only four total Braves had hits (Albies, Acuna, Ozuna, and d’Arnaud). After Weaver was relieved, the Braves managed one baserunner from eight batters.

The Diamondbacks scored one more insurance run in the seventh, winning the game 7-2 to pull three wins from four games against the two-time defending NL East champions.

Weaver got the win with 6.2 quality innings, surrendering two runs on eight hits. Wilson received the loss after allowing four unearned runs in five frames. The Braves committed four errors leading to six of the seven runs being unearned.

The Player of the Game was Ketel Marte, who went up to the plate five times, got on-base five times, and drove in a pair of runs.

Game 5: March 30, Braves @ Padres

The ailing Braves took a trip to San Diego to regain form, but their bats continued to be quiet. The bottom six of the order combined for 20 hitless at-bats and no walks.

The Padres were also kept in check, but a two-out RBI from pitcher Joey Lucchesi gave the Padres the lead in the bottom of the fifth. An Ozzie Albies homer tied the game, but San Diego scratched one more run across in the sixth.

In the final three frames, the Braves did not get another baserunner.

Lucchesi earned the win with a solid seven-strikeout, six-inning performance. He allowed just four hits. Michael Baez and Matt Strahm earned holds, and Kirby Yates pitched a clean ninth to get the save. Kyle Wright took the loss, allowing a pair of runs in six innings on the mound. Luke Jackson and Chris Martin tossed scoreless and hitless innings in relief, but the Atlanta bats had no life.

The Player of the Game was Joey Lucchesi. On the mound, he pitched through a generally tough Atlanta lineup. He added a go-ahead RBI in the batter’s box.

Game 6: March 31, Braves @ Padres

At the risk of falling to 1-5 in the Atlanta Braves simulation, Ozzie Albies took Garrett Richards deep on the second at-bat of the game. The Braves failed to get much going for the next few innings, but a Johan Camargo single followed with Marcell Ozuna’s first home run of the season, a two-run blast. Camargo added another single, and Freddie Freeman added a base on balls, but the Braves could not score any additional runs.

On this day, Atlanta’s scoring woes did not matter. Mike Soroka was dominant. He tossed nine frames of clean baseball, scattering four hits, all singles. He only struck out six, but he walked none in a masterclass of pitching. It was the Canadian’s first career complete game at the major league level.

Mike Soroka got the win after pitching the shutout. Garrett Richards took his second loss of the season, allowing three runs in 5.2 innings. He struck out six but allowed a pair of homers.

Mike Soroka was Player of the Game after pitching a fairly rare shutout.

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Ryan Potts is an avid football and baseball fan. He covers the NFL and Major League Baseball, focusing on the Baltimore Ravens and Atlanta Braves.