The NLDS will continue Friday with Game 3 between the Atlanta Braves and the Philadelphia Phillies. The Braves tied the series Wednesday night after a nearly three hour rain delay with a, 3-0 win. They will look to take back home field advantage in the series Friday night with Spencer Strider matching up against Aaron Nola.
The Braves waited until Friday morning to announce Strider as their starter for Game 3. Strider finished the season on the injured list due to an sore oblique and his availability in the series was initially in question. He was included on the NLDS roster, but his role in the series was left up in the air until he was announced as the starter Friday morning.
Strider has thrown at least two bullpen sessions in the last week, but how long he might pitch Friday is anyone’s guess. The Braves have a well-rested bullpen after Thursday’s off day so expect Collin McHugh and Dylan Lee to play a part in Friday’s game at some point as well.
11:00 AM Update - Matt Olson thriving for Braves after one of ‘lower points’ of career
Matt Olson endured a second half slump, but recovered over the final two weeks of the regular season and is off to a good start over the first two games of the NLDS with three hits, including a three-run home run in Game 1. Olson has also walked three times and drove home the go-ahead run in Game 2.
Olson described his second-half struggles as “one of the lower points of his career.”
“It was probably one of the lower points of my baseball career, performance-wise,” Olson said. “But at the end of the day you’ve got to be able to ride out the ups and downs the same. Try to be the same guy every day.”
That was what that stood out to teammates, that Olson didn’t allow what wasn’t happening at the plate to affect him.
“I think something that wasn’t seen necessarily was when he was going through that lull he was the same person every day,” said catcher Travis d’Arnaud. “(Olson) treated us all the same, and laughed around, joked around. Still made fun of everybody, even though in his mind he wasn’t playing good baseball.”
12:00 pm Update - Spencer Strider to return, make postseason debut as NLDS shifts to Philadelphia for Game 3
Our preview will get you set for Game 3 with Spencer Strider matching up against Phillies ace Aaron Nola. Friday’s game has a scheduled start time of 4:35 p.m. ET and will be broadcast on FS1.
1:05 p.m. Update - Vaughn Grissom starts at second as Braves take aim at Aaron Nola in Game 3
Vaughn Grissom returns to the Braves’ lineup for Friday’s Game 3. Marcell Ozuna gets another start as the DH and Eddie Rosario sticks in left field for Atlanta.
1. Acuña - RF
2. Swanson - SS
3. Olson - 1B
4. Riley - 3B
5. d’Arnaud - C
6. Harris - CF
7. Ozuna - DH
8. Grissom - 2B
9. Rosario - LF
1. Schwarber - LF
2. Hoskins - 1B
3. Realmuto - C
4. Harper - DH
5. Castellanos - RF
6. Bohm - 3B
7. Marsh - CF
8. Segura - 2B
9. Stott - SS
3:00 p.m. Update - Brian Snitker on the decision to start Spencer Strider, Ronald Acuña Jr’s elbow and more
Brian Snitker met with the media in advance of Friday’s Game 3 matchup against the Philadelphia Phillies and said that the team didn’t fully decide that Spencer Strider would start Friday until late Thursday night.
“We went into last night talking about that,” Snitker said. “We put this kid on the roster to pitch him. I think because we won the game the other night on Wednesday and Kyle going deep into the game and pretty much the state of our bullpen.”
Snitker wouldn’t divulge how far Strider would go in the game after his long lay off instead saying that they will take it inning-by-inning. He also gave an update on Ronald Acuña Jr’s elbow, talked about the decision to go with Vaughn Grissom over Orlando Arcia and why we might soon see a breakout from Michael Harris at the plate.
Final: Phillies 9, Braves 1
The Phillies scored six runs in the third inning against Spencer Strider and the Braves’ bullpen to propel them to a 9-1 win in Game 3 of the NLDS. Atlanta now trails Philadelphia 2-1 in the series and will face a must-win situation in Game 4 Saturday.
“We’ve got to win one in a row right now is what we’ve got to do and we’ve got the perfect guy out there to do it,” Snitker said. “Charlie’s been in these situations many times and we need to start scoring some runs also. Regardless of all that, we haven’t been able to mount any significant offense, though, regardless. We need to score some more.”