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.
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.
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.