When the Atlanta Braves signed free agent starting pitcher Ervin Santana, games like the finale with the Washington Nationals were likely on their minds. The starters they lost during the preseason were reliable in big games at least part of the time and they need Santana to step up in the game Sunday in a big way. He definitely has the ability to come through in a big game as we have all seen him do in the past. It has been seen that he can drop the ball on occasion as well.
If the Braves win the final game of this four game series, they will pull back ahead of the Nationals heading into the next week of play. If however they fall to the Nationals for the second straight game, their dominance over the division rivals will still be there but they will have gained zero ground over the course of the four games. Santana doesn’t have to go out and drive in six runs on Sunday but he is going to need to put a good game out there.
What Julio Teheran did in the third game of the series, minus the stepping off balk, would be perfect for Santana. They need a quality start with two or three runs or less given up and the offense has to do the rest. If Santana gives the Braves what they need to regain the slim division lead on Sunday, they will feel very good once again for signing him despite losing a draft pick in the process. Here is hoping for everyone wearing Braves colors that Santana really toes the rubber well on Sunday.