We’ll find out if Aaron Blair’s break did the trick.
The rookie right-hander has not pitched since an August 28 start against San Francisco, in which he allowed 8 hits and 5 runs in just 4 innings of work. At that point, the Braves decided to give him some extended time to work with pitching coach Roger McDowell.
It’s been a tough season for Blair, who is 0-6 with an 8.23 ERA in 12 starts on the season. His task won’t be easy, as he goes against Noah Syndergaard and the New York Mets on Monday night to start a three-game set, as the Braves are in the midst of a stretch of 25 consecutive games against National League East opponents.
Blair’s first career start came against these Mets in April, and he went 5 1⁄3 innings and gave up 3 runs.
Then in June, he faced them in consecutive starts. One went well (6 innings, 3 runs), one did not (4 1⁄3 innings, 8 runs).
Nine players on the current Mets roster have at least one hit against Blair, and Wilmer Flores, James Loney, and Yoenis Cespedes have homered off him. Loney is 4-for-4 against him, all extra-base hits. Asdrubal Cabrera is 3-for-8 off Blair.
Syndergaard made two starts against the Braves last year, garnering a no-decision in both. In 11 total innings, he allowed four earned runs.
Matt Kemp is a paltry 0-for-8 against the long-haired phenom, who is 9-7 with a 3.24 ERA this season.
Game date/time: Monday, September 19, 7:10 p.m. ET
Location: Citi Field, New York, New York
TV: FOX Sports Southeast
Radio: 680 AM/93.7 FM, Braves Radio Network, WYAY 106.7