Whether it is a blessing or a curse, the Atlanta Braves won’t have long to put Tuesday’s tough loss behind them when they wrap up a three-game series Wednesday afternoon against the Pittsburgh Pirates. Atlanta dropped the opener in disappointing fashion falling 11-1. They then suffered an excruciating 2-1 loss Tuesday on a walk-off walk by Tyler Matzek in the ninth.
Matzek’s performance aside, it is hard to harp too much on the pitching when the Braves’ offense is putting them in the situation where they have to be perfect just to have a chance to win. Atlanta has scored just two runs in this series despite facing a pair of Pirates pitchers in Chase De Jong and Chad Kuhl that both came in with 5+ ERAs. The Braves were 0-for-9 with runners in scoring position and left nine men on in Monday’s loss. They managed just five hits on Tuesday, stranded them all and were just 0-for-1 with runners in scoring position. This is a team that suddenly looks like it needs a break and a mental reset that the All-Star break will provide, but unfortunately, there have still have four more games to get through which are becoming more critical with every loss.
Drew Smyly will get the start for the Braves Wednesday and will be looking to continue a solid stretch. Smyly has shaved over one and a half runs from his ERA over his last six starts and has allowed just one run over his last 17 1/3 innings. Even better for Smyly and Atlanta, He has allowed just two home runs in his last six starts and none over his last four. Smyly faced the Pirates back on May 20 and allowed six hits and three runs while striking out seven in 5 1/3 innings.
The Pirates will counter with young right-hander Will Crowe who will be making his 12 start of the season and 13th appearance overall. Crowe has had an up and down season and is coming off a short outing where he allowed four hits, three walks and two runs in 4 2/3 innings against the Brewers. Crowe matched up against Smyly back in May and allowed seven hits, including a pair of homers, four runs and three walks in five innings.
Wednesday is getaway day with the game set to begin at 12:35 p.m. ET. It can be seen on Bally Sports South.
Game Date/Time: Wednesday, 12:35 p.m. ET
Location: PNC Park, Pittsburgh, PA
TV: Bally Sports South
Radio: 680 AM / 93.7 FM The Fan, WNNX 100.5, Braves Radio Network