Atlanta Braves: Spencer Strider Steals the Show on Opening Day
While the Atlanta Braves got off to an unfortunate 6-3 loss to the Cincinnati Reds on Opening Day, Spencer Strider made a lasting impression.
It was a beautiful day at Truist Park and The Battery leading up to Opening Day for the Atlanta Braves. Or, at least it was until a Brandon Drury home run in the top of the sixth took the air out of the stadium.
However, hopefully you weren’t one of those who left the game early or turned the TV off, because then you missed the most exciting part of the game for the Braves.
Spencer Strider, our number two prospect in the Braves system, came on to pitch the seventh and eighth innings and helped salvage what was a disappointing Opening Day loss.
Braves — Spencer Strider Makes History on Opening Day
I couldn’t take getting blasted by the wind in the upper deck anymore and decided to move around the stadium. It was the perfect time to watch from behind home plate on the concourse.
Hearing Spencer Strider pop the mitt at 100 MPH is a special experience, and he showed why many believe he has a ton of upside either as a starter or reliever at the big league level.
The 23-year-old righty came on in the seventh and struck out a pair of batters while regularly hitting 100 MPH. He followed that up by striking out the side in the eighth.
The only ball put in play was by Joey Votto who somehow turned on a 99 MPH inside fastball and flew out to right.
Six batters faced, 24 pitches thrown (16 for strikes), 18 fastballs thrown averaging 99.3 MPH (topping out at 100.3 MPH), 9 whiffs on 13 swings, and 5 strikeouts.
Simply incredible. According to Sarah Langs, it’s only the second time something like that has been done — striking out 5 batters at 99 MPH+.
Who knows how long Strider will stick around on the big league roster. The potential for him to be a frontline starter is too good to pass up on right now. But it sure was fun watching him come out of the bullpen and blow away hitters.