One night after the Braves played a game that Brian Snitker called “one of our poorest games in the last two years,” the team has no choice but to try to bounce back tonight in an effort to even up this weekend series against the Marlins.
The good news for the Braves is that they should finally get some significant help from their starting pitching tonight since Max Fried’s turn in the rotation has finally come back around. At this point, the Braves would be thrilled with Fried simply making it into the sixth inning. Fried has made it through at least five innings in all four starts that he’s made this season and that’s not even counting the fact that he’s currently sitting on a 1.59 ERA and a 2.29 FIP. The Braves already needed their young pitching core to step up even in the best of times, so it’s especially encouraging that Max Fried has been able to pitch at a high level to give the Braves at least one serious starting pitching option this season.
If Max Fried continues his strong start to this season, then this should be a world of difference from what we’ve seen from the rest of Atlanta’s starting rotation during this season. To let you know how much of a steady presence that Fried has been so far this year, he’s currently sitting on a BB/9 rate of 2.38. That’s equal to Josh Tomlin’s BB/9 rate, and if you’re walking people at a Tomlin-like level then you’re doing pretty well for yourself and Max Fried currently fits the bill. It’s a shame that Fried currently has to carry such a major load at the moment, but all he can do is try to pitch his best game every five days and now he’s got another opportunity to help put the Braves in a position to win.
While the Braves are going with a starting pitching option that is currently tried-and-true, the Marlins will be turning to a pitcher that’s still getting his first real taste of the big leagues. Miami lefty Daniel Castano will be making his second career major league start and he’ll be looking to improve upon his first start, which was a rude welcome to MLB at the hands of the Mets. New York tagged him for five hits and two of those were dingers which helped contribute to five earned runs for the 25-year-old rookie. Clearly, the Braves are going to want to pour on the punishment and pick up where the Mets left off in terms of hitting Castano hard.
As far as the overall feel of tonight’s game is concerned, the Braves have nowhere to go but up after last night’s performance. The Marlins took advantage of a lot of lapses on Atlanta’s part last night and while Miami played impressively, Brian Snitker was absolutely right to point out that it was a poor performance from the Braves that helped turn that into a comprehensive defeat. While the Marlins are absolutely not going to just roll over and play dead for the Braves, Atlanta should at least be in a better position tonight with a better starting pitching effort and a clamp-down on the laspes that plagued them on Friday night. Let’s hope that tonight is the night that the losing streak comes to an end for the Braves.
Game Date/Time: Saturday, August 15, 6:10 p.m. ET
Location: Marlins Park, Miami, Florida
TV: Fox Sports South
Radio: 680 AM / 93.7 FM The Fan, WNNX 100.5, Braves Radio Network