The Braves enter play three games under .500 following an excruciating loss to the Mets last night. Max Fried was outstanding and the bullpen was equally bad. The offense was nearly silent, aside from some tough-luck outs that could scored additional runs in what became a 3-1 loss. Tonight the Braves turn to rookie left-hander Tucker Davidson with hopes that he can at least temporarily provide some value to what has become an incredibly thin starting rotation.
Talking Chop prospect guru Garrett Spain wrote a scouting report on Davidson last season, noting his impressive fastball that can touch triple-digits with impressive spin rates and vertical movement. In addition, the left-hander features a slider, curveball, and changeup, the latter of which being his weakest offering. The slider can stay around 90 MPH and can produce swings and misses, but according to Spain the curveball may actually be the better pitch.
The Mets have yet to face Davidson after missing his cup of coffee in Atlanta last season, so his arsenal will be new to the visiting team. Command was an issue during his previous stint, but hopefully with the initial jitters of a major league debut out of the way we can see the true talent of Davidson on display. He has been among the most impressive arms in the system statistically over the past couple seasons, and with newfound opportunity at the major league level, the left-hander could become a mainstay.
The Mets have yet to announce a starter for tonight’s game, but regardless of who they tab, the Atlanta offense will need a rebound. They looked severely overmatched by every Mets arm last night, with the exception of Trevor May. Some batted ball luck could have drastically altered the outcome, but the club still managed only three hits and were 0-for-2 with runners in scoring position. They’ll need to create more opportunity if they intend to even the series with New York tonight.
For all the woes and hardships the Braves have encountered in 2021, they remain just three games out of first place in the division. Winning the next two games before hosting the lowly Pirates this weekend could certainly jumpstart the team and push them closer to the true talent level we know exists within this group. That mission starts tonight, against a man that has yet to be determined, against a team that makes bad luck a habit, and against an offense that can be stifled. The Braves and Tucker Davidson just may be well-positioned to right the ship tonight.
Game Date/Time: Tuesday, May 18th, 7:10 P.M. ET
Location: Truist Park, Atlanta, Georgia
TV: Bally Sports Southeast
Radio: 680 AM / 93.7 FM The Fan, WNNX 100.5, Braves Radio Network