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Braves look to rebound from feeble plate performance in second game against Brewers

The Braves, quite literally, repeatedly went down swinging last night. Hopefully tonight isn’t a repeat.

MLB: Atlanta Braves at Milwaukee Brewers Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

After getting utterly dominated by Milwaukee’s pitching staff in the first game of this series, the Braves will be looking to find a way to bounce back tonight as their return series with the Brewers continues.

Following Tyler Matzek’s trip to the IL due to shoulder inflammation, Tucker Davidson was called up to replace him on the pitching staff and he’ll also be starting tonight’s game. Davidson only has 2.2 major league innings under his belt this season and they didn’t go well at all — he finished with five earned runs allowed against the Washington Nationals back in mid-April.

The clear hope is that April 11 was just a bad night for Davidson, and he’ll have to put that in his rearview mirror if the Braves are going to have any sort of chance at winning tonight. For what it’s worth, Davidson has been striking out Triple-A batters at a 31.2 percent clip so far in 2022 and he’s counted that with a walk rate of 8.3 percent. That’s definitely not going to be the same as facing the likes of Willy Adames, Rowdy Tellez and Christian Yelich but hopefully Davidson will be able to give the Braves some good innings on the mound tonight.

Meanwhile, Davidson’s counterpart for Milwaukee will be Adrian Houser. Houser’s past two starts haven’t been great, and it’s especially concerning for the Brewers when you consider that those two starts came against the Reds, who are currently in the midst of a colossal struggle. In fact, both of those starts against Cincinnati were Houser’s two worst starts of the season — he only went five innings and gave up five runs (four earned) in the first start at home, and then followed that up with another stint were seven runs were scored while he was out there, with three of them earned. Houser will surely be looking for a bounce-back start this evening — similar to when he threw six shutout innings against the Cubs in the start before he found torment in the form of the Reds.

Also, the main hope for the Braves is that anybody in their lineup wakes up. Atlanta has already racked up some ugly losses this season but I’d rank last night pretty highly since the Braves lineup responded to a good pitching outing from Ian Anderson and the bullpen by getting befuddled and mystified by Milwaukee’s pitching staff. I want to say that ending a night where eight of the final nine batters struck out is rock bottom for this team in terms of offense, but I don’t want to tempt fate any further than I already have. Whether they have Ronald Acuña Jr. in the lineup or not, most of the guys in the lineup know that they have to start doing better soon in order to avoid a one-for-one repeat of the first half of last season.

Following last night’s debacle at the plate, there’s nowhere to go but up for Braves hitters. It would be nice if they were able to take advantage of Adrian Houser being on a bit of a downturn at the moment while also giving Tucker Davidson the help that he is likely going to need. This is probably going to be another tough night for the Braves, but hopefully they can deliver a better performance than what we saw on Monday night.

Game Info

Game Date/Time: Tuesday, May 17, 7:40 p.m. ET

Location: American Family Field (they really had a perfect name with Miller Park, come on), Milwaukee, WI

TV: Bally Sports South

Streaming: MLB.tv

Radio: 680 AM / 93.7 FM The Fan

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