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Braves Minor League Recap: Spencer Strider sparkles in Triple-A Debut

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The Spencer Strider bullpen experience started on the right foot

Photo Credit: Mills Fitzner

The season is winding down and now there is only one. Hallelujah! The curse is broken

(69-56) Gwinnett Stripers 6, (73-53) Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp 1

Box Score

  • Drew Waters, LF: 0-4, HBP .242/.332/.388
  • Shea Langeliers, C: 0-3, BB, .000/.250/.000
  • Cristian Pache, CF: 2-4, 3 RBI, .267/.334/.414
  • Bryce Elder, SP: 4 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 5 BB, 4 K, 2.21 ERA
  • Spencer Strider, RP: 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 3 K, 0.00 ERA
  • Touki Toussaint, RP: 2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 2 K, 3.66 ERA

Cristian Pache single-handedly drove in more runs than the entire Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp, and Gwinnett pulled away as the game went on. Drew Waters didn't have a hit on the day but he scored two of those runs and started the game by being hit by a pitch. With two outs he still stood at first base but Travis Demeritte’s crushed a baseball for his 21st home run of the season and put the Stripers up 2-0. The pitching staff would never relinquish that lead.

In the fifth inning Gwinnett was clinging to a 2-1 lead when a one out error on a Waters ground ball opened the gate for the Stripers to add on. With an RBI single Cristian Pache did just that and a wild pitch scored a second run in the inning to extend the lead to three runs. Pache came through again in the seventh inning and delivered a two-run single to put the game well out of reach. Shea Langeliers made his Triple-A debut with the Stripers and reached base once on a walk while lining out in another plate appearance and striking out in the other two.

Bryce Elder had an off day for the Stripers as his command was just not where we’ve seen it in the past. Elder walked five batters over a very short four inning start, but still managed to only allow one run. Elder started with command of the game and struck out the first two batters before getting a weak ground ball to end the first inning. The second was when things got off the mark as he walked the bases loaded to lead the inning off. A double play cut the lead in half but also got him the first two outs in the inning and an infield pop out allowed him to escape with relatively little damage. Elder’s trouble in the third came on consecutive first pitch singles to begin the inning, but he quickly got two more strikeouts to put himself in position to escape. Although an error loaded the bases, Elder was not bothered and forced a ground out to end the inning. He walked his final two batters with two outs in the fourth inning but he also had three easy ground balls that allowed him to get out of the fourth with no damage done.

The Stripers bullpen was phenomenal, with Trevor Kelley getting it started in the fifth inning. He got three ground ball outs to pitch a perfect inning and then turned the ball over to Spencer Strider. I know what you’re thinking - Spencer Strider and my recap days don’t seem to go well together. Well, buckle up, because relief pitcher Spencer Strider is simply unstoppable by any act of cosmic cruelty. Strider’s stuff was already dominant as a starter but it played up phenomenally as a reliever and he cruised through the sixth. He did allow a two-out single but struck out three other three in a fashion that might be illegal in a few countries. Strider touched 101 mph and his breaking ball was as good as we’ve seen this year, and it was unfair baseball. As long as he has gas in the tank there is no reason the Braves shouldn’t do everything they can to convince the league to make an exception to get him on the postseason roster, because he has every bit of the potential to make an impact out of the bullpen right now.

Touki Toussaint’s work in the bullpen went well, although he did allow a couple of baserunners, he was able to pitch two scoreless innings with a couple of strikeouts. Dylan Lee was phenomenal closing out the game and struck out two batters in a perfect ninth inning.

Next Game: 9/30 vs (73-53) Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp @ 7:05 PM ET

Probable Starters

GWN: Jose Rodriguez (6-5, 5.15 ERA)

JAX: Jason Alexander (0-1, 2.79 ERA)