After another excruciating one-run loss Wednesday night, the Atlanta Braves will try to clinch a series win when they wrap up a five-game series against the New York Mets Thursday afternoon at Citi Field. Rain is in the forecast for Thursday in New York but this is Atlanta’s final scheduled trip to New York, so it would seem that they will do whatever they can to get the game in.
There was initially some question as to whether Drew Smyly would be able to make Thursday’s start after he exited his last outing after just four innings due to some knee soreness. However, Smyly completed his side session with no issues and Brian Snitker said he was “good to go” on Wednesday.
After posting an 8.05 ERA over his first four starts, Smyly has settled in and pitched much better. He has allowed three runs or less in nine straight starts and 12 of his last 13 dating back to the start of May. He allowed three hits and struck out three over four scoreless innings before exiting in his last start against Philadelphia. This will be his first start of the season against the Mets.
The Mets will counter with right-hander Taijuan Walker who is coming off his two worst starts of the season. In his first start back after the All-Star game, Walker was tagged four four hits, four walks and five runs in just 1/3 of an inning against the Pirates. He allowed eight hits and six runs, including three homers, over four innings in his last outing against Toronto. Walker has faced the Braves twice back in May with both outings sandwiched around a trip to the injured list. He allowed one hit and struck out two over three scoreless innings against Atlanta on May 27 before exiting with some discomfort in his side and was eventually placed on the injured list. He returned 12 days later and faced the Braves again allowing two hits and striking out eight over five scoreless.
The Braves have alternated wins and losses in 13 games since the All-Star break. They have outscored the Mets 15-8 in the series but have just two wins to show for it. Atlanta’s only run in Wednesday’s 2-1 loss came on a solo home run by Austin Riley, his third homer in the last two games. The Braves went 1-for-10 with runners in scoring position. That has been a familiar pattern as Atlanta began the road trip by outscoring the Phillies 24-12 but ended up with just a split in the four-game series.
Thursday’s game is scheduled to get underway at 12:10 p.m. ET and can be seen on Bally Sports South.
Game Date/Time: Thursday, July 29, 12:10 p.m. ET
Location: Citi Field, Flushing, New York
TV: Bally Sports South
Radio: 680 AM / 93.7 FM The Fan, WNNX 100.5, Braves Radio Network