After avoiding falling into a five-game losing streak for what feels like the umpteenth time this season, the Braves are returning home to Georgia to kick off a week-long homestand with a two-game mini-series against the Red Sox.
I’ve gotta say: From a personal standpoint of covering these games this season for this lovely blog, it’s nice to come into a game where the other team’s pitcher is having a rough go of it and the Braves pitcher is coming into the game in good form. That’s the case today, as Tucker Davidson is set to make his fourth start of the season and he’s coming into this start riding a wave of good vibes.
Davidson has thrown 17.2 innings so far this season, and he’s only given up three runs while striking out 14 batters and walking seven. All three of those runs came in his first start back on May 18 against the Mets and five of those seven walks occurred in his second start on June 3. Other than that, he’s been remarkably consistent. He’s made it into the sixth inning in each of his three starts, he faced 23 batters in each of his first two starts before really ramping it up to 24 batters in his third start, and he racked up five strikeouts in each of those two starts before falling down to four strikeouts in his most recent appearance. So, unless the wheels just completely fall off of Tucker Davidson’s proverbial wagon, we have a pretty good idea of what to expect from Davidson as he takes the mound today. Consistency is a wonderful thing, reader.
Meanwhile, Eduardo Rodriguez will be making the start for the Red Sox and things have not been going particularly well for the 28-year-old lefty. You know you’re in the midst of a rough patch when going 5.1 innings and giving up three runs qualifies as your best start in nearly a month. That’s the case for Rodriguez, who has given up at least three runs in eight of his past nine starts. He’s also given up six dingers in that span. If you’re the Red Sox, that’s not something you want to see from your starting pitcher when he’s facing off against an Atlanta Braves team that leads all of baseball in Isolated Power (.191) and leads the NL in home runs (93). Simply put, if the Braves don’t find a way to continue Eduardo Rodriguez’s struggles in this one, it would be a pretty big disappointment. This seems like a pretty good matchup for the Braves on paper, and this would be a golden opportunity to give themselves another boost when it comes to their power numbers.
The Red Sox are coming into this game still in pretty good shape — the fact that they’re 40-27 and three games behind the AL East leaders says more about Tampa Bay than it does about Boston, and Boston looks to be a really good team this year. The Braves, on the other hand, have been flirting with .500 for most of this season and found themselves ultimately failing in their flirtatious attempts. These are two teams who are going in different directions at the moment, but this is also a game where the starting pitching matchup could end up being key. Tucker Davidson is on a roll and Eduardo Rodriguez is on the opposite of that. If the Braves can jump on Rodriguez and the bullpen holds up, then a split of this two-game series is definitely in the cards for Atlanta.
Game Date/Time: Tuesday, June 15, 7:20 p.m. ET
Location: Truist Park, Atlanta, GA
TV: Bally Sports South
Radio: 680 AM / 93.7 FM The Fan, WNNX 100.5, Braves Radio Network