Last night’s hero and omnipotent WPA deity Austin Riley takes a spot on the bench today, giving the Braves a Spiderman-pointing-at-Spiderman-meme-esque corner outfield of Matt Joyce and Nick Markakis. It was probably a common assumption that Josh Donaldson would drop his suspension appeal today and get a breather in this game, but apparently that’s not the case, and he’s back in there hitting cleanup. Will there be more Musgrove-Donaldson fireworks? Who knows, But he’s in there.
This will be Joyce’s fourth start in left field this year, but the first time the Braves have used this defensive arrangement or lineup.
The Braves have seen all these Pirates guys in arduous quantities at this point. This defensive arrangement is the most common for the Pirates all year, and it will be the seventh time they deploy it. The Pirates keep changing their batting order, however — the most times they’ve ever used one in twice, and as they’ve used this one before (June 7), it will be tied for the most common after today’s game begins.
Most of the Pirates, sans Elias Diaz, Jose Osuna (not starting), and Bryan Reynolds have faced Teheran at least once, though longtime Bucs Starling Marte and Gregory Polanco have faced him the most. Adam Frazier is the only member of Pittsburgh’s roster to have taken Teheran deep so far. The Braves have comparatively less exposure against Musgrove, though they did face him more recently — Charlie Culberson is the only batter on the roster to have never stood in the box against him, and three Braves (Ronald Acuña Jr., Dansby Swanson, Freddie Freeman) have taken him deep, with the first two guys homering off of him in the ninth inning last week.
Game time is still 12:10 pm EDT. Stick around.