Here’s a sobering thought: despite last night’s horrific loss in Miami, the Braves’ playoff odds only budged downward 0.7 percent. They’ve fallen by less than one percent even though the Braves have lost two of their first three with the Marlins so far. On Sunday afternoon, the Braves will get a chance to at least split the series, and further evaluate the potential for Mike Foltynewicz to play a role in what remains of the 2019 season.
Making his first start in over a month after toiling at Triple-A, Foltynewicz was better-if-not-all-that-great against the Twins. Of course, grading on a curve may be appropriate here, as he was facing Minnesota’s high-octane offense. While the 7/2 K/BB ratio he managed in 5 1⁄3 innings is certainly welcome and among his best so far this year (though he had a three-start stretch to close out May where he was more on point in this regard), he yielded two longballs and three runs overall. Still, the Braves took it then as they cruised to an offense-driven 12-7 victory, just like they’ll take a win, in whatever form it comes, this afternoon.
It’s tempting to say that the Braves may have an easy time of it with the bats today given that the opposing starter is Hector Noesi, but after failing to do much of anything against Elieser Hernandez and Sandy Alcantara (while hammering Caleb Smith, go figure), it’s best to just not say much in that regard. Prior to 2019, Noesi last appeared in the majors in 2015 as a member of the White Sox. Prior to that, he spent two seasons pitching in the Korean Baseball Organization, where he was the league’s second-highest-paid player. Noesi was fairly lucky at preventing runs as a member of Miami’s Triple-A squad across 21 starts (3.82 ERA), but his peripherals were fairly weak (5.35 FIP, 4.73 xFIP), and his first major league start wasn’t particularly inspiring, either: five runs in five innings with two longballs and a 3/3 K/BB ratio in a loss to the Mets.
Noesi has a five-pitch mix (four-seamer, sinker, cutter, curveball, changeup) and throws fairly hard (his fastball averages 94 mph), but he’s a fly ball pitcher in a league where that’s not a particularly friendly proposition (though Marlins Park will help out in that regard). We’ll see what happens — but the real story of this game might once again be not so much how the Braves fare early but rather late — can they escape Miami without giving the game away late?
Atlanta Braves @ Miami Marlins
Sunday, August 11, 2019
1:10 pm EDT
Marlins Park, Miami, FL
TV: Fox Sports South
Radio: 680 AM/93.7 FM, Rock 100.5, Braves Radio Network
XM Radio: XM Streaming 841