As has been typical every time the Braves meet the Dodgers, things have gone dreadfully. Following Monday’s 5-3 defeat that featured the slightest bit of actual competition, Atlanta’s offense was embarrassed once again at the hands of Hyun-jin Ryu.
The lefty from South Korea last shut down the Braves in Game 1 of the NLDS, tossing seven shut out innings. He looked the same on Tuesday night except even more efficient. Ryu didn’t allow a run over the full nine innings, as the Dodgers became the first team to hold Atlanta’s potent lineup scoreless. Oh, and Justin Turner also homered three times. That’s all I’m going to say about it. A short memory is what baseball is all about.
On a side note: Max Fried started and was forced to exit the game after a line drive struck him in the hand. He only made it through one inning and had nowhere near his best stuff, but the important thing is the X-Rays came back negative. Fried is day-to-day with a hand contusion.
Can Mike Foltynewicz return to form?
The Braves bring Folty (0-1, 5.06 ERA) to the mound for his third start since being called up from Gwinnett. Atlanta’s Ace from a year ago hasn’t shown the same sort of juice so far in 2019. Foltynewicz was forced to miss all of spring training with an elbow injury that dates back to last year. It hasn’t been deemed too severe, yet, but it does look like fireballer has lost some of his heat. His fastball is sitting more in the mid-90s rather than the upper-90s, but it’s been his lack of bite on the slider that has cost him early on. It shouldn’t take too long to figure out what kind of night it will be for Folty. If the slider is biting hard down and away, he’s going to be a challenge for any hitter. If it’s not, the Dodgers potent lineup will expose him real quick.
Will Kershaw continue his success against the Braves?
Kershaw (1-0, 2.77 ERA) is only making his fifth start of the year because of injury issues of his own, but he has never needed much notice to make slight work of the Braves. In his career, he’s started ten games versus Atlanta and is 4-0 with a minuscule 1.43 ERA. Kershaw is one of the best pitchers of all-time and never an arm teams want to see when their bats have been cold two nights in a row.
Time for the Braves middle of the order to get hot
The Braves have been able to maintain a .500 record and one of the best offenses in baseball without any of their three best hitters catching a groove. Josh Donaldson, Freddie Freeman, and Ronald Acuña are all mired in slumps of their own. It’s about time for this trio to catch fire and lead this team for a couple of weeks. It’s bound to happen at some point. What better time than against Clayton Kershaw and the team that hasn’t stop beating you since last October.