On June 1, the Atlanta Braves were 23-27 and 10.5 games back of the New York Mets in the NL East. Less than two weeks later, the Braves are 36-27, have shrunk the division deficit to five games and currently occupy a wild card spot.
Atlanta looks like a completely different team in the month of June. The Braves have scored 93 runs over the course of the win streak — including 32 home runs. Their team OPS is over .900. The pitching staff has an ERA under 3.00. It would not be unbelievable to posit that some sort of aliens infiltrated the bodies of the Atlanta players at the beginning of this month and that's actually who we've been watching.
I don't think it's happenstance, though, that this winning streak commenced on June 1 after Michael Harris II made his MLB debut on May 28.
Harris was called up from Double-A Mississippi at the end of last month and seems to have changed everything about this team. He's played Gold Glove-caliber defense in center field. He has a 141 wRC+ to go along with his .317/.338/.540 slash line. He's allowed Adam Duvall to move back to a corner outfield spot, which seems to have jumpstarted his offensive production again.
The Braves seem like a completely different team with Harris in center field.
And obviously, Harris is not the only guy playing well for Atlanta. Dansby Swanson is hotter than Hell and half of Georgia, Ronald Acuña Jr. is doing what everyone expects him to do — now with more at-bats with runners on base, thanks to Harris — and the pitching rotation has been outstanding. But I don't really believe in coincidences.
Credit to Alex Anthopoulos for calling Harris up to the big leagues without him ever having played a game at Triple-A. It was clearly the correct decision and may have been the difference between a run at a second consecutive World Series title and the defending champs missing the Postseason entirely.