Growing up in the 90s, I’ve been blessed to see some spectacular Braves teams, but few of them have done what this one has over the last two-plus months. Atlanta is on an absolute tear – winners of five straight – giving them a 7.5 game lead in what was supposed to be a competitive NL East. They have won nine of their last ten series, and the one they didn’t win was a four-game split with the Cubs at Wrigley Field. Atlanta is taking the diamond not only looking to defeat their opponent, but demolish them, and they always do it with a smile on their faces.
Last night, the Braves defeated the Brewers in game one of a three-game set behind a magnificent effort from Max Fried. Unfortunately, he was forced to exit early because of nagging blister issues that have been a problem for him his entire career, but the bullpen was able to hold it down.
The big hit came from Freddie Freeman, who walloped a monster three-run shot off the scoreboard in center field. The Brewers crept back into it in the sixth, cutting the lead to one, but Sobotka, Swarzak, and Jackson pitched scoreless frames in the seventh, eighth, and ninth to shut the door. Tonight, Atlanta sends rookie Bryse Wilson to the mound to face Chase Woodruff.
Wilson’s made three starts this year for the Braves and has looked better each time out. His last appearance was by far his most productive, as he tossed six innings of two-run ball against a potent Phillies lineup. That gave him his first win of the season and lowed his ERA to 6.14.
The key for Wilson is his secondary pitches. Since being called back up on June 27th, his fastball has been stellar. It sits in the mid-to-upper 90s, and he has pinpoint control of it. But in the majors, you need more than that. Wilson often has trouble with his slider and changeup; which will be the key for him today and in the future, as he becomes a household name in Braves Country.
Woodruff is having a fantastic year for Milwaukee. He already has ten wins compared to only three losses and is sporting a 3.67 ERA. The last time the Braves played the Brewers, Woodruff pitched the series finale and was lights out over eight innings, allowing two runs and striking out six. Milwaukee needed every bit of it too, as they squeaked out a 3-2 win to avoid a sweep at SunTrust Park. The 26-year-old Mississippi native is going to make it quite challenging for the Braves to remain undefeated in the second half of the season and earn their sixth victory in a row.
First pitch is scheduled for 8:10 ET at Miller Park.