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Braves look to keep good start against Phillies going

The Braves have made SunTrust Park uncomfortable for the Phillies in the early stages of 2018. Hopefully that will continue tonight.

MLB: Philadelphia Phillies at Atlanta Braves Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

After picking up a narrow 2-1 victory on Monday night that saw the bullpen bounce back nicely after Saturday’s debacle, the Braves will take on the Phillies in an effort to keep their early run of success against their divisional rivals going strong in what is already their fifth game against each other.

Just like in March when these two teams linked up, the pitching matchups are the same. That means that Mike Foltynewicz and Nick Pivetta will be taking the mound as the starters for their respective teams and both hurlers will be looking to do better than they did on the first time around.

Folty threw 92 pitches over five innings during his last start against Philadelphia and the Phillies dinged him for 3 runs (two of which were earned), including a couple of dingers from Rhys Hoskins and Carlos Santana. Running up a high pitch count in relation to his innings pitched has been an issue for Folty in the early stages of the season — he’s averaged 97 pitches over his first three starts and he also has yet to make it out of the sixth inning of any of those starts. Clearly, if we can get a more economical start out of Foltynewicz this evening then things should be going well for the Braves on the mound for the initial part of this game.

Meanwhile, we didn’t get to see too much from Nick Pivetta during his last start against the Braves because Gabe Kapler pulled him after just 73 pitches and four innings. With that being said, the quick hook was nowhere to be found for Pivetta’s two previous starts against the Reds and Marlins and I’d imagine that if he’s doing well at the five-inning mark, then Kapler will probably let him do his thing instead of managing this mid-April clash like it’s Game 7 of the World Series.

With that being said, the Braves did do pretty well against Pivetta while he was out there. They got him for three runs and Dansby Swanson also didn’t have much of a problem against Nick Pivetta in their first clash against each other. Ender Inciarte also has a nice short sample size against Pivetta, as he’s gone 4-for-8 with two walks and a sacrifice fly over 11 plate appearances. Strangely enough, Freddie Freeman has yet to record a hit against Pivetta in eight plate appearances. Hopefully that will change this evening.

These two teams have played some tight contests against each other so far (with the big exception being that lovely 15-2 beatdown) and the Braves have had the slight edge. If not for Peter Bourjos somehow missing home plate on a slide in the game that Foltynewicz and Pivetta started, the Braves may still be undefeated against the Phillies. Still, being up 3-1 on a divisional rival is always nice and the Braves should be very happy with how things are going if they can make it 4-1 once tonight’s game is finished.

Game Info:

Time/Date: Tuesday, April 17, 7:35 PM ET

Venue: SunTrust Park

TV: Fox Sports Southeast


Radio: 680 the Fan (WCNN AM) or 106.7 (WYAY FM) on the Braves Radio Network

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