Coming into the weekend, the Braves pitching woes were at the forefront of everyone’s minds. Now, it seems trivial thanks to valiant efforts from Spencer Strider and Allan Winans, both of whom tossed seven scoreless innings on Saturday as the Braves throttled the measly Mets.
Winans was once a prospect in New York’s farm but was eventually acquired via the Rule 5 Draft, and he tossed a gem against his former club, punching out nine while allowing no runs on four hits as Atlanta put up a monstrous 21 runs in the first game of Saturday’s doubleheader.
Then, Strider took the mound in the evening and also tossed seven scoreless. It calmed a lot of worries about Atlanta’s starting rotation, but the Braves have an embarrassment of riches because there are a couple of arms in Gwinnett that are vying for another major league opportunity — A.J. Smith-Shawver and Michael Soroka.
The latter of which is coming off one of his best performances since returning after missing about three years. Soroka ALSO tossed seven scoreless for the Triple-A Stripers on Saturday night, finishing with eight punchouts and only three hits en route to a complete-game shutout.
Michael Soroka tonight: 7.0 IP l 3H l 0 R l 1 BB l 8 K
A performance Don Cherry would be proud of. pic.twitter.com/0Uzqfu9T6c
— Gwinnett Stripers (@GoStripers) August 13, 2023
The game was originally scheduled to begin at 8:15 p.m. but was pushed back to 9:00 p.m. and shortened to a seven-inning contest due to rain, allowing the Maple Maddux to pitch the entire game.
Soroka’s 98-pitch effort was his best of the season, allowing just four base runners all night and just one free pass, which has plagued him with the Braves. The club has a wealth of starting pitching, but a recent slump has caused fans to forget this. It might be time for Soroka to get another shot in Atlanta, which could benefit Charlie Morton, Bryce Elder, or Spencer Strider — all of whom could use a bit of rest.