The Atlanta Braves clinched a spot in the postseason for the fifth consecutive season with a 3-2 win over the Washington Nationals Tuesday night. They will be looking to complete a series sweep and extend their winning streak to six-straight games when the two teams meet again Wednesday afternoon at Truist Park.
Max Fried had originally been scheduled to pitch Wednesday’s finale, but Brian Snitker announced Tuesday that he was being pushed back to Thursday and that Bryce Elder would start Wednesday against the Nationals. Snitker said that the move was a result of starter Spencer Strider experiencing some minor soreness and that they would skip him during his next turn through the rotation.
The Braves recalled Elder to the majors on Monday. He struggled with his command in a four-start stint back in late April. He pitched better in a pair of second half starts against Miami allowing just five hits and one run over 13 innings. He made 18 appearances for Gwinnett and had a 4.46 ERA and a 4.45 FIP in 105 innings.
The Nationals waited until after Tuesday’s game to announce their pitching plans for Wednesday. That decision was no doubt hampered after Patrick Corbin exited Tuesday’s game after facing just three hitters due to back spasms. Washington used four relievers to cover the remainder of the game with Erasmo Ramirez and Jordan Weems doing most of the heavy lifting.
Dave Martinez announced after the game that Paolo Espino would start the finale Wednesday. Espino began the season in the bullpen, but rejoined the rotation in June and made 16 starts between then and early September. His last three appearances were one inning stints out of the bullpen. He has made two starts against Atlanta this season allowing six hits and two runs in four innings on July 10. He faced them again on July 16 where he allowed six hits and four runs in 5 1/3 innings. , although only three of those given up were earned.
Travis d’Arnaud hit his 18th home run of the season in Tuesday’s win. He’s been red hot in September hitting .333/.404/.667 with four homers and a 195 wRC+.
Wednesday’s game has an early start time of 12:20 p.m. ET and can be seen on Bally Sports South.
Game Date/Time: Wednesday, September 21, 12:20 p.m. ET
Location: Truist Park, Atlanta, Georgia
TV: Bally Sports South, MLB Network
Radio: 680 AM / 93.7 The Fan