Braves Preview: Atlanta sends Shuster to the hill for rubber game against Mariners
By Eric Cole
After yet another bullpen game did not work out on Saturday night, the Atlanta Braves are hoping that Jared Shuster can help them secure a series in over a good, young Seattle Mariners team on Sunday. It will not be easy, though, as Seattle is going to be sending George Kirby to the mound and he is quite good.
It would be great if Ronald Acuna Jr. could continue his strong run of play on Sunday. He currently has a 10 game hitting streak and with a few of the Braves' other bats struggling at the moment, Atlanta is likely going to need Ronnie to do some damage with a tough pitcher on the mound.
Braves vs. Mariners Pitching Matchup
Jared Shuster gets the start for the Braves and given that he just debuted earlier this year, it is unsurprising that he doesn't have any experience against this Mariners lineup. While Seattle has some guys that can be a bit spooky on the offensive side, their lineup isn't their primary strength, so hopefully Shuster's changeup can keep them off balance. The bigger issue is that the Braves really need Shuster to go fairly deep in this game as they used a bunch of arms in the bullpen game yesterday and they don't have a day off for a while.
As for George Kirby, yeah...he is really good. The righty has posted a 2.45 ERA in eight starts this season with 41 strikeouts and just four walks in 51.1 innings of work. While Kirby isn't a big strikeout guy, he throws a ton of strikes and gets a lot of soft contact. The Braves hit the ball hard generally, so something is going to have to give with a guy that pitches to contact on the mound and Atlanta is going to have to convert on scoring chances when they get them. The Braves have limited experience against Kirby and that experience didn't go well for them, although Sean Murphy has raked against him so that helps.
How to Watch Braves vs. Mariners - 5/21
Date/Time/Location: 5/21/23 at 1:35 PM EST at Truist Park
TV: Bally Sports Southeast
Radio: 680 AM/93.7 FM The Fan