Braves vs. Brewers: Adam Duvall's baserunning gaffe costs Atlanta early run in NLDS Game 3
In the second inning of Monday's NLDS Game 3 between the Brewers and Braves at Truist Park, the Braves squandered a chance to put an easy and perhaps critical run on the board thanks to some unwise baserunning. Follow along here for live updates.
Atlanta began the frame with back-to-back singles by Austin Riley and Adam Duvall off Milwaukee starter Freddy Peralta. Peralta was able to retire Eddie Rosario on a fly-out to right, but Riley was able to tag up and advance to third. That brought Travis d'Arnaud to the plate with one out and runners on the corners. Here's what happened next:
D'Arnaud lifted that ball 321 feet to left -- deep and high enough to be a home run in Fenway -- which meant Christian Yelich had effectively zero chance of cutting down Riley. As you can see, Duvall, for reasons sufficient unto himself, decided to tag up and attempt to take second base, presumably under the assumption that Yelich's throw was going to the plate. Yelich's throw, however, was directly to second baseman Kolten Wong, and Duvall was out easily.
No force play was on, so Riley's run would've counted as long as he touched the plate before Duvall was tagged out. That, however, didn't happen, and it wasn't because of Riley -- he was hustling all the way from third and even slid into the plate. Rather, it was because Duvall made a thoroughly ill-advised decision to go for second and wound up being the third out of the inning an instant before Riley's foot brushed across the plate.
At the very least, Duvall should've perceived that the throw was coming directly to second and put on the brakes for a rundown. That still would've very likely been an unnecessary out, but at least Riley's run would've been on the board. Quite understandably, Braves first base coach Eric Young, an elite base-runner in his playing days, had a dugout conversation with Duvall afterward.
Had Duvall stayed put at first, the Braves would've led 1-0 in the bottom of the second with two outs and runner on first. That translates to a 67.7 percent chance for Atlanta to win this critical Game 3. Instead, it was scoreless after two thanks largely to Duvall's over-aggressiveness, and that comes to a 53.2 percent chance for the Braves to win. That's significant, to say the least. Perhaps it's more significant once you consider that runs are typically hard to come by against Peralta and the Milwaukee bullpen.