6 Braves who went cold at worst possible time, and 1 who didn't

There is more than enough blame to go around for the Atlanta Braves winning just one game this postseason. These players went extremely cold at the plate.

Division Series - Atlanta Braves v Philadelphia Phillies - Game Four
Division Series - Atlanta Braves v Philadelphia Phillies - Game Four / Rich Schultz/GettyImages
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Ronald Acuña Jr.

Ronald Acuña Jr. should win MVP this season, but he looked like anything but the team's most valuable player when he stepped to the plate in this series.

In 17 plate appearances, the right fielder had two hits (one double) and two walks. He remained effective on the base paths, stealing two bases, nabbing an extra bag half the times he reached.

His splits of .143/.294/.214 in this series pale in comparison to what fans have come accustomed to expect from him. This season he slashed .337/.416/.596. Maintaining numbers like that in postseason ball isn't usually doable, but Acuña didn't come close.

In fact, it was his worst playoff series for battng average and slug. His on-base percentage was just good enough to best the 2018 NLDS against the Dodgers.

Austin Riley stayed ready

Bats freezing instantaneously seemed to be a chronic issue up and down the Braves lineup. Austin Riley is arguably the only player who did enough in the four postseason games to prove the slump wasn't some sort of higher-dimension voodoo trick placed on the Braves' entire team.

Riley went 6-for-17 and slashed .353/.353/.706, good for a 1.059 OPS in the four games against the Phillies. He batted in three of the Braves' eight runs scored throughout the series.

It was a massive step forward for Riley, specifically, who was subject to a deep slump in the 2022 NLDS against Philadelphia where he went 1-for-15.

Riley is taking the loss hard, telling Kevin McAlpin of Braves Radio Network, "“You look back over the year that we had and all the great success and get into the playoffs and things don't go your way, it's a tough pill to swallow."

Riley was, of course, one of the players to credit for the electric Game 2-winning double play. He backed up the cutoff man and sent the ball to first base to get Bryce Harper out after he had gotten over-aggressive on the base paths.

Were the Braves to move forward and win, that moment would surely have stuck out as one of the best of the playoff push.


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