I don’t know about you, but I don’t think my blood pressure can handle another Braves home game.
After somehow managing 3 walk-off wins over the course of 8 games last week - all via dramatic home runs - the Braves will leave the adrenaline-happy confines of SunTrust Park to and initiate a 6-game road trip in California. This first three match-ups will come against the San Diego Padres.
Sunday’s win, which clinched the series against the Nationals, staked the Braves to a 1½ game lead in the NL East. In theory, the team should feel good about their chances to extend their division lead over the Nats and Phillies, but have fallen short of the sustaining momentum over their last few walk-offs. The Braves are 0-5 in games following walk-off wins in 2018.
If they can fend off this unsettling recent trend, facing off against a 27-34 Padres team who comes into this series as the cellar dweller in the NL West will provide the Braves a chance to put some distance between themselves and their division rivals.
There were questions about how this team would respond to Ronald Acuña’s knee injury; counting the game in which he was injured, the Braves have gone 6-3.
Atlanta will send Julio Teheran to the mound, while San Diego will counter with Clayton Richard. Despite a solid outing against the Mets his last start, Julio has cooled a bit since a 7-start stretch which saw him post a 4-1 record with a 2.20 ERA. Hopefully the pitching-friendly confines of Petco Park will offset his proclivity for home runs.
Speaking of home runs in a pitcher-friendly park, the key for this game will be for the Braves to hit the ball in the air often. Richard’s 19.1% HR/FB rate is 7th in all of baseball, so a little loft can go a long way; otherwise, Richard’s league-leading 56.5% ground ball rate could lead to a lot of frustration in Braves Country.
Game Date/Time: Monday, June 4, 10:10 p.m. ET
Location: PetCo Park, San Diego, California
TV: Fox Sports Southeast
Radio: 680 AM/ 93.7 FM, WYAY 106.7, Braves Radio Network