The Atlanta Braves began August by recording three lopsided victories before seeing their fortunes change during the early portion of their 11-game road trip
While Atlanta is facing some resistance, the same likely can't be said for Matt Olson. The slugger belted his career-best 40th homer of the season Thursday in a 7-5 setback to the Pittsburgh Pirates, tying Los Angeles Angels two-way phenom Shohei Ohtani for the major-league lead
"It's a good, clean number. It's one of those milestone numbers, but hopefully there's more," Olson told Bally Sports South. "(I will) enjoy it for a second and get back to work tomorrow.
"It's not even the second week of August and we have a (40-homer, 100-RBI) guy," Braves manager Brian Snitker said. "That's amazing what he has done. Kinda quietly too. This guy is having as good of a year as anybody in the game.
Atlanta's Charlie Morton (10-10, 3.86 ERA) will take the mound in the series opener against New York's Tylor Megill (6-5, 5.45) in a battle of right-handers
Morton, 39, dropped his fourth straight start on Sunday after allowing five runs and four walks in 4 1/3 innings of a 6-4 setback to the Chicago Cubs
Morton is 0-1 with a 7.20 ERA in two starts this season against New York. He is 4-6 with a 3.99 ERA in 20 career games (19 starts) vs. the Mets
Megill knows a thing or two about struggles, as he returned from a less-than-stellar stint at Triple-A Syracuse with a tough outing on Saturday. Although his velocity was up, the end result was a down performance after the 6-foot-7 hurler yielded five runs on nine hits -- including two homers -- in 4 2/3 innings of a 7-3 setback to the Baltimore Orioles
"The big thing we're working on was just the fastball," Megill said, per the Bergen Record. "Earlier in the year, everything was sinking, so coming down into barrels and most of the main goals were how to get it back and riding through the zone and staying true. I think we're at a really good state, and it's progressively getting better each outing.
Megill, 28, is 1-1 with a 4.02 ERA in seven career appearances against Atlanta. He received a no-decision vs. the Braves on May 1 after allowing three runs on four hits in 5 2/3 innings
Pete Alonso homered for the fourth time in a three-game series against the Cubs during the Mets' 4-3 win on Wednesday. He is 5-for-10 with 10 RBIs and four runs over the last three contests
"I went through a really bad patch this year and it was definitely the worst of my big-league career," Alonso said. "I was healthy, but we play a game of failure, and the law of averages are starting to bounce back in my favor.
Alonso has two homers among his three hits in the season series against Atlanta. The Braves, however, have won five of the six meetings in 2023
--Field Level Medi