After a rough start to their road trip, the Atlanta Braves will try to pick up the pieces Thursday when they begin a four-game series against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field. The Braves are coming off of a three-game sweep at the hands of the Los Angeles Dodgers and have saw their lead in the NL East standings reduced to just two games over the Philadelphia Phillies. Atlanta led late in Tuesday and Wednesday’s games in LA only to watch it slip away.
For the most part, it has been a lost season for the Rockies in 2021. They will enter play Thursday with a 61-72 record. However, they have been a different team at home where they are 43-22 on the season. So the Braves are going to have their work cut out for them.
Brian Snitker announced Wednesday that Touki Toussaint would get the start in Thursday’s opener against the Rockies. Toussaint’s last start came on August 22 although he did make a relief appearance last weekend against the Giants. Additionally, Drew Smyly is not scheduled to pitch during the series in Colorado and Snitker said Wednesday that he is unsure how Smyly will be used going forward. Smyly’s early season struggles have returned of late and a shift to the bullpen appears to be likely. That means that Thursday’s start is an opportunity for Toussaint to show that he belongs in the rotation for the stretch run.
He has been up to the task so far allowing two earned runs or less in six of his seven starts. He allowed five hits and one run over 5 1/3 innings in his last start against Baltimore.
The Rockies will counter with right-hander Chi Chi Gonzalez who will be making his 17th start and 22nd appearance overall of the season. Gonzalez will be making his first start since August 18 where he allowed four hits and three runs in just three innings against the Padres. He made a relief appearance on August 25 allowing a hit in a scoreless inning. Gonzalez has a 5.59 ERA in 46 2/3 innings at Coors Field this season.
Snitker also provided some good news on second baseman Ozzie Albies, who left Tuesday’s game in Los Angeles after fouling a ball off his knee. Albies sat out Wednesday’s game but Snitker said that he was feeling much better than expected and left the door open for a possible return to the lineup Thursday.
Thursday’s game is scheduled to begin at 8:40 p.m. ET and can be seen on Bally Sports Southeast.
Game Date/Time: Thursday, September 2, 8:40 p.m. ET
Location: Coors Field, Denver, Colorado
TV: Bally Sports Southeast
Radio: 680 AM / 93.7 The Fan, WNNX 100.5, Braves Radio Network