It’s always a bit of a challenge to deliver a series preview of a series we have just seen.
The Braves wrapped up their first meeting with the Cardinals just 9 days ago with a 7-1 losing effort, and to be honest, not much has changed.
8:15 EST, Friday, May 16th
2:15 EST, Saturday, May 17th
2:15 EST, Sunday, May 18th
Probables: Gavin Floyd (0-1, 2.70 ERA) vs Jamie Garcia ( SEASON DEBUT)
Simply put: The Braves are still struggling offensively. Despite shutting out San Francisco Saturday in a 5-0 victory, the Braves were still outscored 11 to 14 by the Giants. Once could attribute that to a spectacular Giants pitching staff, but as I wrote last week, the Cardinals pitching is just as good.
Cardinals Behind The Rubber:
The Braves have the pleasure of missing the start by former farmhand and Braves demolisher, Adam Wainwright, but also enjoy the luxury of missing Michael Wacha, who’s 10.3 K/9 would have likely done the Braves offense in. Instead, the Braves get to have another go at Shelby Miller, who the Braves forced out of his last start against them in just 5 innings. Lynn has provided the Red Birds with solid peripheral numbers, but has not been as sharp as can be. His characteristically high walk rate is still present, and a more patient Braves lineup could capitalize.
Look for Trevor Rosenthal to be unavailable after pitching 1.2 innings against the Cubs on Thursday. Rosenthal was a little shaky in is one appearance against the Braves this season. If the Cardinals need to close out a game, look for hard throwing Carlos Martinez to get the call. Once again, the lefty-righty tandems of Martinez and Pat Neshek with Kevin Siegrist and Randy Chaote still make for some dangerous late game matchups against the right handed heavy Braves.
Cardinals At The Dish:
Once again, we find ourselves in an area that hasn’t changed much. The Cardinals offense is still living or dying by it’s outfield’s offense. While Yadier Molina and Matt Adams continue to hook up for some easy runs, Jhonny Peralta is the only member of the team who is putting the ball over the fence. Most of the Braves’ problems this season have stemmed from giving up the occasional longball, so pitching around Peralta may be something we see Fredi Gonzalez do in this series.
Patience is the name of the game as this Atlanta club looks to continue to steer their offense in the right direction.
Tags: Atlanta Braves