If the Atlanta Braves are going to finish with the best record in the National League, they can’t keep getting shut out. Following a 5-0 loss at the hands of the Milwaukee Brewers on Monday, the Braves host the Brewers in the second game of a three-game series on Tuesday in Atlanta.
Starting pitcher Mike Minor was off his game in the opener, allowing three runs on eight hits — including a solo home run and a two-run homer — while striking out six and issuing no walks in seven innings.
Although Minor’s line technically equated to a quality start, the Braves will hope for more from Freddy Garcia when he takes the mound on Tuesday. And the veteran right-hander has a good chance to supply them with what they’re looking for, as he has gone 1-2 with a 1.31 ERA in five games (two starts) since Atlanta claimed him off waivers from the Baltimore Orioles on Aug. 23.
With that said, the Braves’ offense also needs to wake up against Brewers rookie hurler Tyler Thornburg, who is 3-1 with a 1.96 ERA this season as both a reliever and a starter.
The Braves are just 7-11 over their past 18 games, having averaged 3.2 runs per game thanks to a .204 team batting average, and they are in jeopardy of losing home-field advantage if they don’t turn things around. The St. Louis Cardinals are just one-half game behind Atlanta for the NL’s best mark, and they are playing much better ball than the beasts of the NL East.
But as has been the case all year, this Braves’ offense is capable of putting up crooked numbers at any time.