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Chacin, Braves look to avoid second 9-game skid

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I don't know if a team has ever had two nine-game losing streaks in the same month, but I'd also rather not find out.

Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports

Another day, another try for win number five on the season. The Braves have been clobbered by the Red Sox so far, being outscored 21-8 in their last three games, but anything can happen, including the Braves notching their second nine-game losing streak of April.

The matchup for the capstone game of this home-and-home whirligig pits Jhoulys Chacin against Clay Buchholz. Chacin has been nothing short of stellar on the peripherals side and very good on the run prevention side: his FIP sits at 1.23 (2.49 xFIP) while his ERA rests at 3.18 over his first 17 innings over three starts. Still, each of his three starts has gotten progressively worse, and he allowed his first two walks of the year to the Mets in his last outing, allowing four runs (three earned) while recording just 16 outs.

Chacin's FIP is sparking partly because he hasn't allowed a home run yet this year. Meanwhile, Buchholz has been tormented by the longball, as he's allowed four in four starts (1, 2, 0, 1). Buchholz has also been somewhat consistent in a bad way, allowing five or six hits in each of his starts so far, and five runs in three of them (he held the Blue Jays scoreless and pitched into the 7th in his lone good start of 2016 so far, though the Red Sox lost that game anyway). Still, he's been an above-average starter for his career, and the Braves remain non-intimidating offensively. Against a different but still fairly inept Braves crew last year, Buchholz spun seven innings of two-run (none earned) ball.

Nick Markakis and AJ Pierzynski are the only guys on the roster with any substantial exposure to Buchholz, Markakis is 6-for-41 with seven walks and no extra-base hits against him; Pierzynski, who got his 2000th hit last night, is 6-for-15 with a double and no walks against Buchholz historically.

Sad facts:

  • The Braves are now tied with the Phillies for the least runs scored in MLB. This is actually kind of sadder for the Phillies, since they play in a more run-conducive park.
  • The Braves are one of three teams that have yet to hit a triple this season.
  • The Braves' ISO is now less than half of the ISO of the next-worst team (.058 to .121).
  • The Braves have allowed 20 more homers than they've hit.
  • Thanks to the Braves (and an assist from the Astros), the Red Sox are averaging seven runs per game on their current four-game winning streak. The Braves have scored seven or more runs just once this season.

Game Info

Game Date/Time: Thursday, April 28, 7:10 p.m. ET

Location: Fenway Park

TV: Fox Sports South

Radio: WYAY 106.7, Braves Radio Network, 680 AM/93.7 FM