Following one of their most successful West Coast road trips in recent memory, the Atlanta Braves are back at home and looking to bring that road form back with them to Cobb County as they open up a three-game series with the St. Louis Cardinals.
It’s been an infamously tough season for the Cardinals, who are very likely going to end up with their first losing season since 2007 and first last-place finish since 1990 (!!!). With that being said, they’ve still have some bright spots on their team this season and Miles Mikolas has been one of them. While Mikolas may not be on track for a career year on the mound, tonight’s starter for St. Louis has been the lone bright spot for this team’s rotation now that Jordan Montgomery is in Texas.
With that being said, it’s been a bit of a rough patch for Mikolas as of late. While he’s managed to go at least six innings in five of his past six starts, he’s also given up at least two runs in each of those starts and has included starts where he gave up five runs against the Phillies on August 25 and seven runs in the start immediately before that against the Mets. His most recent outing saw him give up three runs over six innings against the Padres, so he hasn’t particularly been in shutdown mode as of late.
Even with that in mind, he may not need to be in complete shutdown mode when you consider who the Braves are starting tonight. Indeed, Michael Soroka has been called up and will be getting the ball to start tonight’s game for the Braves. While Soroka has been doing perfectly fine in Triple-A this season, it’s still been hard for him to return to form in the Majors over six starts this season. If Soroka has made it into the deeper rangers of a start this season, it’s usually coincided with giving up a handful of runs. If he’s had a good start, it’s usually been a very short stint.
Obviously, we’re all hoping that Michael Soroka will be able to find his pre-injury form for at least one night and hopefully going forward into the home stretch — maybe in the Postseason as well. Still, it’s going to take a real up-tick in production from Soroka going forward if he’s going to be an arm that the Braves are going to rely on in the very recent future. He’ll be getting a shot tonight against a Cardinals lineup that is tougher than what you’d expect from a last-place team. The middle of St. Louis’ lineup is still something to be reckoned with, as you’d expect with guys like Nolan Arenado, Paul Goldschmidt and Wilson Contreras still roaming around. It’s going to be a tough challenge for Soroka tonight and hopefully he’ll be up to the task of stopping the Cardinals in their tracks.
Considering that the Braves have both Spencer Strider and Max Fried going in their next two games, this figures to be the toughest game of the series for the Braves based on pitching matchups alone. Of course, this could all be rendered moot if Atlanta’s high-powered offense shows up to play since it’s tough to bet against this team losing a slugfest against anybody — even if it’s just as likely that St. Louis’ lineup could wake up and do some damage as well. We could see a slugfest or we could see both pitchers reach back and hit their peak form and give us a good ol’ fashioned pitchers’ duel. It’s all on the cards tonight and this should be an interesting one to follow.
Game Date/Time: Tuesday, September 5, 7:20 p.m. ET
Location: Truist Park, Atlanta, Georgia
Tv: Bally Sports South
Listen: 680 AM/93.7 The Fan