Following a road trip that ended on a pretty sour note, the Braves are returning to Truist Park as they hope to get things back on track in their series opener against the Rockies.
Tonight figures to be eventful if only for the fact that our good friend José Ureña is coming back to town and making the start for Colorado this evening. This will be the first time the Braves have seen him since the 2020 season, but I’d imagine that every Braves fan will still have a very fresh memory of the multiple incidents that Ureña has had with Ronald Acuña Jr. dating back to 2018.
The obvious hope is that José Ureña can keep things strictly competitive instead going for the temptation of keeping this feud going after a year of détente following Ureña’s departure from the National League in 2021 and subsequent return to a different division here in 2022. As far as competitively speaking goes, the Braves will be running into Ureña after he had one of the worst starts of his career in his last outing. The Rangers absolutely pummeled Ureña for nine runs through nine hits and three walks over only 1.1 innings pitched. This was an utterly ghastly performance for Ureña and while he has been getting decently deep into games as of late, he hasn’t looked imposing at all in recent times.
Additionally, José Ureña hasn’t really pitched particularly well against the Braves for the most part. You’d have to go all the way back to 2017 in order to find an instance where Ureña managed to shut down the Braves for most of a contest. While a ton of stuff has changed since that time, Ureña has been consistently unremarkable and I’d honestly be a little shocked if he pitched a gem tonight. Again, he’s got nowhere to go but up following his last start so he should fare somewhat better than he did in that outing but this really should be an opportunity for the Braves to make something happen at the plate this evening.
Meanwhile, the Braves will surely be looking forward to a good result this evening as Max Fried will be making the start for the home team tonight. Fried is currently in the midst of the best season of his career and he looked every bit the part of a guy having a fantastic season when he absolutely dominated the Pirates for eight innings. It was similar to when Fried shut out the Rockies over nine innings in Colorado back in early June.
As usual, you have to take into account the fact that the Rockies are a completely different team depending on whether they play at home or on the road — Colorado’s team wRC+ at home is 97. While that’s still not too impressive on its own, you start to see why this team is currently languishing in last place as their team wRC+ absolutely plummets to an anemic 78 when they’re playing away from home. Simply put, Max Fried has got to get the job done against a team that does not hit well on a consistent basis away from the Mile High City.
Also, the Braves should have good reason to be wary of the Rockies. Colorado managed to defeat the Mets 1-0 on Sunday when New York had Max Scherzer going and also came agonizingly close to actually getting a four-game split as they gave the Mets fits during the game that took place last Friday. So while the Rockies may not look like the most formidable opponent right now, they’re still going to fight you an the Braves should be well aware of that going into this game. With that being said, the Braves have got Max Fried going on the mound as they look to face off against a pitcher who is known more for hitting one batter in particular than shutting down the rest of Atlanta’s lineup. The Braves will be favorites in this game for very good reason.
Game Date/Time: Tuesday, August 30, 7:20 p.m. ET
Location: Truist Park, Atlanta, Georgia
TV: Bally Sports South
Radio: 680 AM / 93.7 FM The Fan