The mystery of who will start Game 3 for the Atlanta Braves has ended as they announced Friday morning that rookie Spencer Strider is ready to go.
Spencer Strider hasn’t pitched a live game in nearly a month, but the Atlanta Braves feel he’s ready to take the mound in Game 3 of the NLDS with the series with the Philadelphia Phillies tied at one.
You can understand the desire of the Braves to throw the rookie out there as he’s been one of the most dominant pitchers in all of baseball in 2022.
And against the Phillies, he’s been particularly going 4-0 with a 1.27 ERA with 34 strikeouts in 21.1 innings.
But there is some obvious risk with making this move. Strider’s last start came on September 18, which was against the Phillies.
You have to worry about some rust with that much time off — he’s only thrown off a mound twice during that time.
And you also question just how long he can actually go, and if he can’t go more than 2 or 3 innings that puts a lot of stress on a bullpen when you could potentially be playing three days in a row.
If Strider were fully healthy he likely pitches Game 2 as he’s clearly the Braves’ second-best starter and possibly their most dominant starter.
Game 3 of a five-game series is obviously crucial with the series tied, so it makes sense why the Braves would want to put Strider out there and try to take advantage of this series.
And then you have a veteran ready to go in Game 4 in Charlie Morton and then potentially Max Fried — hopefully a healthier version — in Game 5.
The bullpen had five days off after the regular season and another off day on Thursday, so they should be good to go for these next three games if needed.
You certainly like the pitching advantage for the Braves the rest of the way, and that starts with Strider on Friday afternoon.