After a brutal defeat at the hands of the Boston Red Sox on Wednesday afternoon, the Atlanta Braves vacate the friendly confines of SunTrust Park for a week while seeking improved results. The first stop on a two-city, seven-game road trip is Phoenix, where the Braves will face off against Zack Greinke and the Arizona Diamondbacks to open a weekend series.
The Braves and D-Backs have squared off only three times this season, with Arizona taking two of three games in Atlanta prior to the All-Star break. One of those contests featured a sterling performance from Greinke, who enters with a 2.97 ERA on the season and even more impressive numbers in recent days.
The veteran right-hander owns a 2.48 ERA since the All-Star break and, if you stretch that out to Greinke’s last 13 outings, he boasts a ridiculous 1.99 ERA across 86 innings of work. Naturally, that means this particular match-up is challenging for Atlanta, even after an encouraging offensive “breakout” of sorts on Wednesday afternoon.
In opposition, Brian Snitker will hand the ball to Anibal Sanchez, who has fallen on a bit of tough luck lately. The 34-year-old has allowed only three runs (two earned) combined in his last two outings but the Braves dropped both games as a result of offensive impotence and the team has lost three straight games in which Sanchez appeared. Still, Sanchez has been a revelation of sorts for the 2018 Braves, enjoying his best season since 2014 and sporting a 2.98 ERA (3.75 FIP) in 108.2 innings of work.
As usual (at least when this particular writer evaluates baseball), we turn to Las Vegas for a bit of additional information, and the Braves enter this spot as significant underdogs to the Diamondbacks. That doesn’t come as a shock given the presence of Greinke and the fact that Arizona is a pretty good baseball team but, in short, the Braves could really use a victory after the despair of Wednesday.
Stay tuned throughout the day (and evening) for all the latest.
Time/Date: Thursday, September 6, 9:40 pm ET
Location: Chase Field
TV: Fox Sports Southeast (Streaming: Fox Sports Go)
Radio: 680 AM/93.7 FM, 106.7 FM Braves Radio Network