The Atlanta Braves unfortunately dropped their first game after clinching the division in Philly. Friday's game featured an early comeback by the Braves who were down 4-0 at one point. They fought back and eventually had a 6-4 lead over the fish.
However, the Marlins took advantage of a less than stellar performance from the Atlanta bullpen to score 5 unanswered runs which led them to a 9-6 victory.
Atlanta also lost Ronald Acuna Jr. in the 8th inning of that game due to tightness in his right calf. The Braves stated it was a precautionary move to ensure they didn't lose Acuna for a longer period of time.
Ronald is not in the lineup for Saturday's game and that was sort of expected as they will want him healthy for the playoffs. As badly as fans want to see the 40/70 season and an MVP, it's not worth losing him in the quest for a World Series title.
Jared Shuster will start for the Braves tonight at loanDepot Park in Miami. Shuster has been part of the taxi squad for Atlanta this season as he's made a handful of appearances throughout the year. His ERA currently rests at 5.26 over 49.2 innings.
Shuster's last outing at the MLB level was against San Francisco on August 27. He allowed 4 runs on 4 hits through 4.2 innings with 2 walks and 3 strikeouts. He has struggled with consistency and command all year between the Triple-A and MLB levels.
In fact, in his most recent start for the Stripers Shuster pitched a little better and got through 6 innings allowing just 1 run on 3 hits with 7 strikeouts but he walked 5 batters. That's been one of his main issues this year. If he's to make the next step and become a fixture of the rotation, he'll want to improve that.
The Braves offense will face off with Marlins pitcher Bryan Hoeing who has a 4.04 ERA through 62.1 innings pitched. He faced Atlanta back on June 30 and allowed 7 runs through 3.2 innings with two walks and one strikeout.
He's been mostly used in an opener-type role this year. His most recent outing against the Brewers lasted just 1 inning. It was a scoreless inning with one walk and one strikeout. He will have his work cut out for him as he faces a Braves offense that has found its groove again.
Game Two will begin at 4:10 PM EST on Bally Sports.