Atlanta Braves Facing NLDS Elimination | Money Mike Harris, Ronald Acuna Jr. and Matt Olson Need To Get Bats Going Against Philly

Atlanta Braves Facing NLDS Elimination | Money Mike Harris, Ronald Acuna Jr. and Matt Olson Need To Get Bats Going Against Philly

Philadelphia — After one of the most exciting comeback victories in recent MLB history on Monday, Michael Harris II and the Atlanta Braves came crashing back to earth in Philadelphia on Wednesday. 


Despite their offense striking first, the Phillies responded quickly and went on to steamroll the Braves 10-2 in Game 3 of their NL Division series. 


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Atlanta Braves Started Strong and Fizzled Out 


Atlanta opened up the scoring on a single to right by second baseman Ozzie Albies in the top of the 3rd inning that scored Ronald Acuna Jr. Unfortunately for the Braves, that 1-0 lead would be the last time they were ahead in this ballgame.


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Philadelphia put up a six spot in the bottom half of the 3rd, sparked by a solo shot by right fielder Nick Castellanos and a three-run bomb by first baseman Bryce Harper. The Phillies duo would go on to homer again later in the ballgame to help push the Braves to the brink of elimination.



Atlanta now finds themselves in the exact same spot they were in last year, and in eerily similar fashion. Game 3 of the 2022 NLDS in the same building saw the Braves get beaten 9-1 while also surrendering a six-run 3rd.


Money Michael Harris Hitless In These Playoffs So Far


As for Harris, unfortunately his playoff slump at the plate continued. Harris went 0-for-4 on Wednesday and remains hitless (0-for-11) this postseason. In a time where the Braves are searching for any type of spark offensively, the usually reliable Harris has been unable to deliver his usual boost. 


He’s far from the only high-production player on the Braves to fall short with the stick through the first three games of the series. Leading NL MVP candidate Ronald Acuna Jr. is batting .200 (2-for-10). Matt Olson is 3-for-12 with 0 homers after banging an MLB-high 54 bombs this season.


That kind of lagging production isn’t going to cut it against a Phillies team that is moving on all cylinders and has their best players performing at a high level.


Harris hit .293 with 18 homers and 57 RBI during the regular season with an .808 OPS after shaking off a rough start, so it goes without saying that he is more than capable of exploding over the next few games.



The question now is will it be too late?


After such a spectacular ending to Game 2, many expected Atlanta to carry that energy into Philadelphia but it simply did not happen. The Phillies have outscored their opponents 21-4 at home this postseason and are now set to face Spencer Strider for a second consecutive trip to the NLCS.

Money Michael Harris II Hasn’t Struck Out Since June 23 | Atlanta Braves Are 9-1 Last 10 Games

Money Michael Harris II Hasn’t Struck Out Since June 23 | Atlanta Braves Are 9-1 Last 10 Games

The Atlanta Braves have been on fire recently.

Not only has the club won five in a row, but the team has also secured victories in nine of the last ten contests. At 53-27, the Braves enter the weekend atop the National League. The team has shot to the top thanks to a hot month of June which has seen them go 20-4. A big reason for the team’s dominance has been the continued brilliance of MLBbro Micheal Harris II.


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Money Mike Leads High-Powered Offense 

In only his second season in the big leagues, Harris has become an integral part of the Braves high-powered offense that is top 3 in batting average, home runs, and RBI. In June, the MLBbro is batting .378 and has five home runs with 14 RBI. This month has already been more productive than his previous three months to start the season. Harris has provided a significant boost to the Braves, batting out of the ninth spot in the lineup that few other teams can ever hope to receive this type of production.


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Earlier in the season, many believed that the MLBbro should be sent back to Triple-A due to his offensive struggles. He has responded in a huge way. After a pep talk by teammate Marcell Ozuna, Harris flipped the switch and caught fire.


Money Mike Turned His Season Around 


Until June 7th, Harris batted .163 and was the least productive starter on the team. He has since increased his batting average to .266, continuously trending upward. In the series sweep of the Minnesota Twins, Harris batted .600, scored in each game, and did not strike out once. The MLBbro has been seeing the ball so well that he has not struck out since June 23rd. This also happened to be the last time the Braves lost a game.


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There were many expectations for the MLBbro after he shocked the MLB world last year. The reigning National League Rookie of the Year started the season in a traditional “sophomore slump,” but he has since broken out similar to how he did in his first season.

This is the player the Braves envisioned when they signed him to the contract extension last year. Fans in Atlanta look forward to seeing more of his five-tool talent for the rest of the season. The MLBbro is continuing to show that he is a star in the making.

Second Year MLBbro Blues: Sophomore Year Hasn’t Been Kind To Money Mike Harris & King Vaughn Grissom

Second Year MLBbro Blues: Sophomore Year Hasn’t Been Kind To Money Mike Harris & King Vaughn Grissom

As we reach the quarter mark of the 2023 season, everything looks great in Atlanta. 


The Braves are once again sitting atop the NL East with a comfortable five game lead. They’re the only team in their division with a positive run differential, as their +52 diff only trails Mookie Betts and the Los Angeles Dodgers (+54) for best in the National League.


Unfortunately for our MLBbros Michael Harris II and Vaughn Grissom, the young guns haven’t figured much into Atlanta’s success this season, albeit for two different reasons. Lets take a quick look at the issues faced by these two baby bro bombers this season. 


Injury Bug Bites Harris


Michael Harris came into this season having already secured the 2022 National League Rookie of the Year as well as an eight-year, $72 million contract extension that assured him a place in Atlanta’s core going forward. 


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But only seven games into the season, Money Mike would suffer his first setback, being placed on the 10-day IL due to a lower back strain. Harris eventually returned to the lineup after a brief rehab stint at the end of April, but one wrong move down in Miami hobbled the centerfielder once again. 


Harris hyperextended his right knee while trying to beat out a base hit, a moment that surely terrified Braves fans across the country. Harris himself admitted he thought the injury would be major. “I was thinking I was gonna have to be carried off the field at first, and that was going to be the end of my season,” said Harris.


Fortunately for Harris and the Braves there was no structural damage to the knee, and he will avoid another trip to the IL. Money Mike gave fans a flash of the excitement he was known for last season with his walk-off double last week against Cedric Mullins and the Baltimore Orioles, but he will need time to regain his 2022 form.


Grissom’s Defensive Setback


With the departure of former franchise cornerstone Dansby Swanson this offseason in free agency, there were many around the Braves organization who were looking for Grissom to take over as the starting shortstop. Despite his electric debut last season at the plate, Vaughn has struggled to adjust to playing shortstop every day at the big league level.


The Braves took the cautious approach by starting Grissom with their Triple A affiliate Gwinnett in order to allow him to refine himself defensively. But when he did return, his glove continued to struggle. Grissom committed six errors in 18 starts at shortstop and looked lost at times on defense. This is a complete 180 from the defensive wizardry of Swanson, who committed just eight errors in 161 games last year.



His regression has scared some fans, but this is a time to remember that Grissom is just 22 years old, and last season he was called up out of necessity, not because Braves brass felt that he was ready to take over as the everyday shortstop. Utility man Orlando Arcia has served as a stopgap for the time being, and the team has remained one of the best in baseball. 


Before Grissom can truly be considered the shortstop of the future in Atlanta, he has to shore things up defensively. He’s shown that he is more than capable of performing at the plate, and ironing out the kinks at shortstop could see him join the very core that Michael Harris has already been added to.

MLBbro 2022 Rookie of the Year | “Money” Michael Harris

MLBbro 2022 Rookie of the Year | “Money” Michael Harris

Despite not making his MLB debut until May 28, Atlanta Braves center fielder Money Mike Harris led all NL rookies with a 5.3 bWAR. Harris electrified the league with his five-tool talents and brought the Black swag back to Atlanta.



Going back to 2010, the only position players who have won the Rookie of the Year in either league with a bWAR higher than 5.3 were Mike Trout (’12), José Abreu (’14), Aaron Judge (’17) and Pete Alonso (’19). The 21-year-old MLBbro hit .297 with 19 homers, 20 stolen bases and a .853 OPS.