Our journey out west ended on a positive note, as the Braves took three of four against Arizona, jumping back over .500 and improving to 3.5 games behind the Phillies.
The late success out west came after the tragic walk-off loss in game one. After that bit of heartbreak, Snitker decided to re-adjust and do something tried and true; move Acuña back to the leadoff spot.
Once Ronnie was back in his prime lineup spot, the Braves looked more like their 2018 form, with an offensive surge by super-utility Johan Camargo and some much-missed fielding gems, like this beauty, by veteran Nick Markakis.
*cue the Superman music* pic.twitter.com/NTaRNy6uoE
— Atlanta Braves (@Braves) May 12, 2019
Now, HOPEFULLY, we see Snitker stay with the same lineup format, which has proven successful for the Braves. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, right? After all, three wins in a row post-lineup shuffle speak pretty loudly for themselves.
Strategy tweaks and suggestions aside, it’s a new day with a new ballgame to be played. The Braves take on the ever-frustrating St. Louis Cardinals tonight. Barring any miscalled infield flies (Yes, I will always be bitter about it), it looks like a promising series for the good guys.
Let’s take a look at tonight’s pitching matchup.
Mike Foltynewicz: 0-2, 5.94 ERA
It’s no secret that Folty hasn’t found his form yet this season. Starting mid-April can make any guy struggle, however. The real concern is watching his command on his off-speed, or rather, lack thereof. Folty hasn’t posted a win this season yet, or pitched in a game without giving up less than two runs. Yes, the season is still young, but the lack of command on his pitches thus far is a reason to feel wary about his start tonight. The silver lining is his past performances against the Redbirds. Folty held St. Louis to a .163 team average through all of 2018, so it’s obvious he knows how to pitch to them. He’s been on a few days rest with some time to readjust so the Folty we’ve seen of late may not be the Folty we see tonight. We can hope.
Jack Flaherty: 3-3, 4.32 ERA
The promising young arm that surprised every St. Louis fan early last season hasn’t proven to be as successful so far in 2019. Flaherty is seeing more struggles than strikeouts, giving up 10 runs in his past four outings and only rising above 10 strikeouts once this season. His performance against the Braves is something to take note of as well, posting a .250 opponent Average against with 2 home runs and an .850 OPS. Barring another off day for Freddie Freeman and his head cold (1.000, 1 HR, 3 RBI), Flaherty could see another abysmal start against the new-formed Braves.
All the action starts tonight at 7:20 ET. You can catch everything live on Fox Sports South, MLBNetwork or with an active MLB.Tv subscription.