After a second straight crappy game and unfortunate result in Toronto, the Braves have announced a de facto bullpen game for the Sunday afternoon finale:
Collin McHugh will start tomorrow— Mark Bowman (@mlbbowman) May 13, 2023
The last bullpen game worked reasonably well for the Atlanta, as the relievers allowed just three runs in eight frames until Raisel Iglesias wrapped up the night by giving up a two-run homer. McHugh didn’t actually pitch particularly well in that game, and has had a rough season so far in some respects: a 77 ERA- and 86 FIP- belie a horrid 121 xFIP-, and he’s also missed time with injury.
Michael Tonkin hasn’t pitched in ages, last appearing in Atlanta’s extra-inning win over the Orioles last Sunday, and figures to get bulk work in the game. This will be McHugh’s first start since the 2021 postseason, where he served as an opener.
The Braves will hope that since conventional pitching strategies haven’t yielded much, they can actually win a game against the Jays after dropping eight straight to them over the past two seasons.