MILWAUKEE — Maybe it seems ridiculous to critique the offense after the Braves suffered a 7-6, 11-inning loss to the Brewers on Wednesday afternoon at American Family Park. The lineup did score four runs off reigning National League Cy Young Award winner Corbin Burnes. And it was the bullpen that squandered leads in the ninth, 10th and 11th innings.
Still, if looking at the big picture and assessing what has been the Braves’ most glaring problem thus far, it’s hard to ignore how significantly the offense has underperformed this year. The back-to-back homers Austin Riley and Marcell Ozuna hit against Burnes in the four-run third created encouragement. But the scoreless six innings that followed left no room for error as Kenley Jansen’s streak of 26 consecutive saves ended with two outs in the ninth.
“Continue to add on in that game is what you need to do,” Braves manager Brian Snitker said. “[Burnes] is a rough ride, but you still have to do that.”
Keston Hiura’s two-run homer off Jesse Chavez ended this eventful battle. But the most influential plate appearance may have occurred when Jansen walked Jace Peterson to begin the ninth. Peterson scored when Kolten Wong smacked a high 3-2 fastball for a two-out, game-tying triple. Wong battled back from an 0-2 count.
“That’s just a great piece of hitting by Kolten Wong,” Jansen said. “What can I say? The leadoff walk killed me.”
Maybe in this one…