Braves Preview: Atlanta looks to sweep the Cards with Elder on Mound
The Atlanta Braves continued to roll last night as Dylan Dodd was fantastic in his debut start pitching five innings of one run ball before being backed up by the bullpen. The offense did just enough to beat the Red Birds 4-1 securing the series win. The Braves continued to provide power early and often with Austin Riley providing a two run shot in the first, and the resurgent Orlando Arcia provided his own solo home run in the second inning to set the tone. How good does that Arcia contract look early on?
The Braves look to break out the brooms
It's get away day in St. Louis with an early afternoon start that will see another young Brave on the mound. Bryce Elder was recalled yesterday from Gwinnett to replace the injured Max Fried and will get the start today. After a solid debut season last year, Elder was firmly in the race for the fifth spot in the rotation in Spring Training.
Unfortunately for him, a lackluster performance combined with the breakout performances of Dodd and Jared Shuster left he and Ian Anderson on the outside looking in. But baseball is all about taking advantage of opportunities that are given, just ask Wally Pipp, and Elder has been given another shot to prove his worth to the big league club. He faces a tall task against a team who (small sample size warning!!) ranks first in the majors in team batting average, fourth in OPS, and fifth in slugging.
Braves bats look to stay hot
Luckily, the Braves aren't exactly a bunch of replacement players at the plate either. Atlanta ranks in the top 10 in all of those categories as well and has averaged 5.4 runs per game so far on the young season. The Braves will look to stay hot against the veteran Miles Mikolas who was roughed up in his first outing this season giving up 10 hits and five runs while only lasting 3.1 innings against the Blue Jays on opening day. It will be interesting to see how Brian Snitker constructs his lineup against the right handed Mikolas. Look for Eddie Rosario to be back in left field, with the only real question being who gets the call at DH.