I don’t know about you, but every time I walk outside into the crisp, cool October air, I can feel Truist Park rocking in my veins. Braves Country only has to wait one more day for a moment they’ve had on their calendars for 365 days, a rematch with their division rivals in the NLDS.
As of now, we don’t know who the Phillies are going to send out as their starting pitcher for Game 1. My guess would be Ranger Suarez, but it has yet to be announced. We do know who will be starting for the Braves, however, Spencer Strider.
The last time we saw Strider out on the mound in a playoff series against the Phillies he was annihilated, allowing five earned runs over 2.1 innings. But that was a different Spencer Strider, one that was coming off an oblique injury and a shell of the pitcher he has been throughout his career. If you only watched that game, you’d come away with the notion that the Phillies have Strider’s number, when in reality, that couldn’t be further from the truth.
#99 has dominated the Phillies throughout his MLB career to the tune of an 8-0 record with a 1.90 ERA over eight starts, striking out 72 batters in just 47.1 innings. A healthy Strider is a nightmare for Philadelphia. There’s only one player that’s even had the slightest bit of success against him.
Strider’s had his way with just about everyone in the Phillies lineup. Trea Turner has yet to record a hit in 14 at-bats. While guys like Kyle Schwarber, Alec Bohm, JT Realmuto, and Nick Castellanos have all struck out nearly 50% of the time against him. The only player in the Phillies lineup who has had success against Strider is Brandon Marsh, who has four hits in 11 at-bats with a homer.
If Strider goes out and does what he’s done every time he has faced the Phillies over the last two seasons, the Braves will be in a fantastic position to go up 1-0.
Photo: John Adams/Icon Sportswire