In Game 1, Brian Snitker shocked Braves fans by using a lineup he had never used before. Austin Riley hit second for just the second time this season, after spending 150 games in the third spot. Matt Olson moved up from the cleanup spot for the first time since June and Ozzie Albies hit cleanup.
The result? The first shutout at home since 2021. The loss puts the Braves in a must-win situation with Max Fried on the mound against Zack Wheeler. Heading to Philadelphia down 2-0 in the series would not be a good thing.
Atlanta faced Wheeler three times this season and the Phillies took two of those games.
In Wheeler's first and third start, the righty limited the Braves to just one run across 14 innings. However, in his second start, the Braves torched the Phillies' ace, scoring six runs and hitting three homers.
One of those homers was this rocket shot off the bat of MVP candidate, Ronald Acuña Jr.
The lineup that game was the standard lineup which remained unchanged for a majority of the season.
There was a lot of debate about whether Snitker made the right call with the lineup in Saturday's game, but it doesn't look like it will get another shot. Snit did announce in his presser for the second game that the move was more about them anticipating Suarez only lasting a few innings.
The Braves announced today's lineup and it looks rather familiar. Atlanta knows they have to put their best foot forward against one of the league's best pitchers.
Travis d'Arnaud replaces Sean Murphy, who started Game 1, and Eddie Rosario replaces Kevin Pillar with the righty on the mound. The Braves' choice at catcher might be pivotal, as d'Arnaud has crushed Wheeler in the past to the tune of a .381/.435/.571 slashline in 23 PAs.
Next to TDA, Riley and Acuña also have great success against Wheeler. Riley is 11-40 (.275 avg) and Acuña is 12-46 (.261 avg) with 4 HR and 7 RBI. Those bats will likely be key to helping get the Braves on the board in this game.
They will have to do a better job at working counts in this game in order to get to those mistake pitches because Wheeler rarely makes them. This was the best offense in baseball for a reason and it's time they show that in the playoffs.
First pitch is at 6:07 PM EST from Truist Park.