In a perfect situation, Jared Shuster would be pitching at Gwinnett. However, with Max Fried and Kyle Wright both on the injured list, this isn’t a perfect situation for the Atlanta Braves. Still, this is valuable experience for a player like Shuster and that could pay off in the long run.
Much like his debut start in Washington, Shuster struggled out of the gate allowing two runs while throwing 37 pitches in the first inning. He was trailing 3-0 at the end of the second and his pitch count was already at 60. However, much like his first start, he seemed to settle in from there and the Braves were able to rally and get back in the game.
The final line was still ugly. He allowed six hits, four walks and four runs in 4+ innings. He struck out four while throwing 91 pitches.
“Just staying on the attack,” Shuster answered when asked about Friday’s start. “Once the game settled in, I did a better job of that for sure. Just trusting the defense behind me, it’s one of the best in the league and trusting our guys to score, because they will. So just attacking the zone and trusting my stuff.”
Shuster has nine walks in just 8 2/3 innings through his first two outings. That is after walking just seven in 20 2/3 innings during the spring. That isn’t a straight comparison, but he understands that he is simply going to have to trust his stuff and throw more strikes if he wants to be successful at the major league level.
“I think just nitpicking and just kinda beating myself,” Shuster said. “During the spring I was attacking more and getting ahead in counts. So yeah, the biggest thing is just staying on my mechanics and trusting myself in the zone.”
Even with Shuster’s struggles, the Braves had their chances. Atlanta left 10 runners on base and were just 1-for-7 with runners in scoring position for the game. Brian Snitker was again complementary of the job Shuster did keeping them in the game. In many ways, it is just part of the process with bringing along young pitchers.
“It’s not going to be perfect. It’s not going to be easy,” Snitker said. “I told him, you’re still pulling the layers off. You kept us in the game, you gave us a chance, and it didn’t go quite like you wanted it. But you know what, this isn’t easy. You just gotta keep fighting through it, keep pitching, and trust your stuff. He’ll be fine.”
More Game Notes
- For the second straight night, the Braves and Padres went toe to toe and we could very well be watching two of the best teams in the National League.
“I mean, that’s a dangerous, dangerous lineup, and I’m sure they feel the same on their side,” Snitker said. “Ozzie could have made a great play and then couldn’t get the ball out of his web, then that’s a run. Then kind of a check swing the other way for a run.It’s just part of it.”
- Marcell Ozuna hit homered in the third inning to give the Braves their first run. He finished the game 1-for-4 and is now 2-for-21 with three walks and six strikeouts on the season. Both of the hits have been homers, but he hasn’t shown the consistency that Atlanta needs through the early going.
“I’d just like to see the consistency more driving the ball, using the whole field, the whole thing,” Snitker said of Ozuna. “I say it because we did see improvement in spring training. I know it’s spring training, but it is what we’ve got to judge everything. Hopefully he, at some point in time can find himself.”