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Kyle Wright hopes to get right as Braves host Phillies

After a rough ending to what ended up being a celebratory road trip, the Braves are back at home and taking on the team that they beat to clinch the division.

Miami Marlins v Atlanta Braves Photo by Kevin D. Liles/Atlanta Braves/Getty Images

The Atlanta Braves have returned home following a road trip that saw them clinch the division against the Philadelphia Phillies before “helping” to revitalize Miami’s postseason hopes. They’ll be facing the same Phillies team to get a three-game series started tonight.

The Braves will also be facing Zack Wheeler for the second time in as many weeks and here’s hoping that we get to see a repeat of what happened last week. After spending much of his Philadelphia tenure being a major thorn in Atlanta’s side, the Braves finally had a a breakout night against Wheeler as they hit him up for six runs over five innings, including three home runs. By the time Wheeler left the game it was 6-1 but the Braves ended up clinging to a 7-6 win in extras because the Phillies just don’t go away. Still, this has to be a bit of a confidence boost for the Braves that they were able to crack Wheeler’s code for a change.

With that being said, if we’re being objective then there’s a pretty solid chance that last week may have been an aberration for Zack Wheeler. Wheeler has given up five earned runs or more in only three of his 29 starts this season and last week’s start against the Braves was the first time that it happened for him since late-June, which is when the Mets got him for five runs. That was the second time in June where it happened for him, as the Nationals put seven runs on his line back on June 2. That’s been it as far as really rough starts have gone for Wheeler — there’s a reason why this guy is still firmly entrenched in what is currently a very crowded and close race for the NL Cy Young award. It would be great if we got a repeat of what happened last week but the Braves may be in for a major fight at the plate tonight.

On the other side of things, Kyle Wright will be looking to get right as he makes his second start following his return from injury last week. The Braves didn’t expect him to go long in his first start back and he did eventually only toss three innings against the Phillies last week. Unfortunately, the Phillies put six runs on the board against Wright while he was out there, so they definitely gave him a very rude welcome back to the mound.

For Wright, it’s just been a very rough season in general. Spring training was basically a wash for him and once he did get into action, he was struggling until the injury cost him a huge chunk of the season. Now he’s back and the obvious hope is that he can find a way to get things on track so that he can help out once the Postseason rolls around. It’s a very tall order for Wright at this point in the season and it’s also a tough ask to try to get yourself going against a lineup the caliber of Philadelphia’s. It would be lovely if Kyle Wright was able to pull out a vintage performance and got things going on track in order to start pushing for the playoffs but it wouldn’t be surprising while simultaneously being understandable if this ended up being another short night for 27-year-old right-hander.

One of the big questions going into tonight’s game is whether or not Ronald Acuña Jr. will return to the lineup after missing the final two games of the series in Miami due to calf soreness. While there's not really much of a rush for Acuña to come back since the Braves have already clinched the division and are still on the inside track when it comes to clinching home field both on the National League side of the Postseason bracket and for a potential trip to the World Series, it would still be nice to see Acuña get back to being healthy as soon as possible and this hopefully doesn't turn into a lingering concern heading into the playoffs. We'll know in a little bit if he's healthy and ready to go but if he's not, hopefully it's still precautionary instead of being a serious concern.

As far as the result of tonight's game goes, the obvious hope is that the offense can make it two strong games against Zack Wheeler in a row. The other big hope is that Kyle Wright can make it to the end of his start without having the wheels fall off. If both of those things happen, then this post-clinching skid that the Braves are currently on could come to an end tonight. It should be a tough game (as usual when it comes to this current version of the Phillies) but the Braves themselves are tough enough to where they can still go into any game feeling confident about their chances, so this should be a good one tonight in Cobb County.

Game Info

Game Date/Time: Monday, September 18, 7:20 p.m. ET

Location: Truist Park, Atlanta, Georgia

Tv: Bally Sports South


Listen:680 AM/93.7 The Fan

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