The Atlanta Braves secured an extra-innings victory over the Philadelphia Phillies on Sunday afternoon to remain 1.5 games behind the New York Mets in the National League East in a race for the Divisional title.
The two teams meet for a three-game series starting on Friday. Meanwhile, the Washington Nationals will also have a say in who wins the NL East as they play both teams in the final few games of the season.
Atlanta Braves @ Washington Nationals, Game One of Three
Nationals Park, Washington DC
19:05 ET, Monday September 26th 2022
|How to watch|
Bally Sports South, MASN, MLBN
Ronald Acuna returned back to action from injury to help save the day for the Braves in their extra-innings win 8-7 over the Philadelphia Phillies on Sunday at Citizens Bank Park.
Acuna delivered a go-ahead single with one out in the 11th and later scored the winning run.
Acuna’s sore back had forced him to miss the entirety of the four-game series with the Phillies before drawing a pinch-hit intentional walk with two outs in the eighth.
Veteran David Robertson followed by issuing a game-tying wild pitch on an 0-2 delivery to Robbie Grossman.
This result meant the Braves stayed within one and a half games against their divisional rivals the Mets who they meet on Friday for a three-match series.
The Mets defeated the Oakland Athletics over the weekend winning two of a three-game series in California.
Braves' pitcher Spencer Strider's regular season came crashing to a halt following a move to the 15-day injured list after a left oblique injury curtailed his practice on Friday.
Strider felt discomfort after his start against the Phillies, before multiple tests made the Braves confident that the rookie would be okay for his next start.
However, the discomfort was still with Strider and the Braves put him on the injured list and shut him down.
Brian Snitker spoke to the official Braves website about Strider's injury: "Hopefully he heals up and is available. We'll know in a week or so. If the Oblique goes, it's a Spring Training thing."
Strider posted a 2.67 ERA over 31 appearances (20 starts) and became the first Braves rookie during the modern era to record 200 shutouts in a season.
He is a huge NL Rookie of the year candidate and would have made a start against the Mets next week.
The 21-year-old shortstop CJ Abrams demonstrated his skills in the Nationals' 6-1 win over the Miami Marlins at loanDepot Park on Sunday. Abrams finished the day with 3-for-4 with two runs and an RBI.
Abrams was a key player in the Juan Soto trade to the San Diego Padres and has been performing well this month.
Nationals team manager Dave Martinez spoke kindly about Abrams: "He stays in the moment, and then all of a sudden he says 'I've got to get to the next pitch'.
"He's really done a great job with that. He doesn't sulk over it. He comes back, he watches video and then he shrugs it off, knowing that there's going to be some more plays that he's got to make. I love that about him.
"We're allowing him to play the game. With that being said, we have teaching moments that we're trying to teach him how to do things the right way, and he's been really good."
Yadiel Hernandez will continue his rehab in Miami and will train there for the winter. The 34-year-old has a left oblique injury and has been transferred to the 60-day injured list and has progressed to agility drills.
There is a possibility that he could be available for winter ball if his recovery goes well.
The Braves have won five of the last seven meetings between the two sides, while the Nationals have only won four of the 16 games between Atlanta and Washington all season.
Atlanta have won the last two season series against the Nats. The Braves are chasing the Mets to try and win their fifth successive National League East title and hopefully a back-to-back World Series championship.
The Braves have been playing catch-up against the Mets all season following a poor start. They did overtake New York recently but the Mets fought back to gain top spot again.
The battle for the NL East title is looking to go down to the wire.