Following a bit of a letdown in the series opener in Miami, the Braves find themselves in the same position that they were last night: A win against the Marlins or a New York loss makes them divisional champions.
Tonight, Atlanta will be handing the ball to Jake Odorizzi with the obvious hope that he can give the Braves enough productive innings to give the team a chance to win. Let’s get the moonshot scenario out of the way early: Odorizzi has a lot of money on the line if he can throw 8.2 innings (therefore reaching the 110 innings threshold for the season) in this start. The odds of that happening are similar to the odds of me going to the gas station right now and picking the winning Powerball ticket, so let’s not dwell on that much further.
If we’re being realistic, then Jake Odorizzi is likely going to give the Braves a handful of innings where hopefully he only gives up a couple of runs. Odorizzi has pitched once in Miami since joining the Braves and he gave up eight hits and two runs while striking out a pair of batters over four innings of work. That’s an underwhelming performance if we’re being honest and the former adjective could describe most of Odorizzi’s starts for Atlanta so far — save for a performance where he pitched six innings and gave up only one run against the Pirates. If he can pull out a performance like that, then the Braves might be in really good shape this evening and here’s hoping that’s the version of Odorizzi that we see tonight.
Meanwhile, rookie hurler Braxton Garrett will be getting his second shot at facing the Braves and he’ll surely be looking to build on the six shutout innings he threw against Atlanta back on August 14. While the Braves were still able to win that game following Garrett’s exit, they will surely be trying to chase him from the game earlier than that. With that being said, Garrett has alternated between throwing six innings and not getting past the fourth inning since that August 14 start, so if that pattern holds then this might be another six-inning stint for the left-handed pitcher.
Over those aforementioned four starts, Braxton Garrett has compiled a 2.18 ERA and a 4.17 FIP. So, while the ERA is pretty low, there’s still a chance that the Braves are going to be getting some hits against this guy and finding themselves with chances to make something happen. Still, Garrett is yet another good arm that the Marlins seem to be loading up on right now and this figures to be tough sledding for Atlanta unless they manage to catch him on an off-night.
The stage is once again set for the Braves to end all the drama right here and now with a victory in Miami. New York will be playing a doubleheader this evening and there’s always the possibility that the Nationals could pull a rabbit out of the hat and also end the drama on the other end. Still, where’s the satisfaction in that? Instead, it would probably be best if the Braves just went out and took care of business this evening. Last night’s loss could be seen as a bit of a hangover following the exploits of the weekend. Now it’s time to get down to brass tacks and nail this thing right on down.
Game Date/Time: Tuesday, October 4, 6:40 p.m. ET
Location: loanDepot Park, Miami, Florida
TV: Bally Sports South
Radio: 680 AM / 93.7 FM The Fan