The Atlanta Braves didn’t have to face David Price

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by laiyongcai92 » Sat Jan 12, 2019 5:12 am

ATLANTA — during a May series in Boston and now they’ll miss the Red Sox left-hander again just when he has been pitching his best baseball of the season.Price was on schedule to start the opener of the three-game interleague series between the Red Sox and the Braves on Monday Ryan Zimmerman Jersey , but he was hit on the left wrist by a line drive in the third inning against Miami last week.Although Price said afterward that he hoped he wouldn’t miss a start and didn’t want to, the Red Sox decided to be safe rather than sorry.Article continues below ...Right-hander Nathan Eovaldi will start in Price’s place at SunTrust Park, with the Braves calling on right-hander Touki Toussaint for his second major league appearance.The Braves plan to go with a six-man rotation the final month of the regular season as they try to hold off Philadelphia in the National League East. Toussaint was promoted from Triple-A on Saturday when rosters could expand.Atlanta’s lead is back to four games after the Braves (76-60) took two of three from the Pittsburgh Pirates in a weekend series while the Phillies were losing two of three to the Chicago Cubs.Eovaldi didn’t allow a run in 15 innings of his first two starts after being acquired from Tampa Bay, but he has struggled since. He is 2-3 with a 4.50 ERA in seven starts for the Red Sox The last one on Friday was limited to two innings because of rain. He has surrendered 13 runs in his past three games.Eovaldi is 2-3 with a 2.82 ERA in 13 career starts against Atlanta and is 2-1 with a 2.06 ERA in six interleague starts for the Rays and Red Sox this season.Price will throw off the mound while the Red Sox are in Atlanta and could start against Houston next weekend in Boston.“It should be Houston or the next series,” Boston manger Joey Cora said on Sunday before the Red Sox concluded a series against the White Sox in Chicago. “We’re not worried. He’s in good spirits. He should be fine.”Toussaint made an impressive debut on Aug. 13 in a spot start, limiting Miami to two hits and a run in six innings. He struck out four and walked two.“Very excited to see him again,” Braves manager Brian Snitker said. “When he left here, he continued to pitch really, really good. He’s had some kind of year and come a long way.”The 22-year-old made eight starts for Triple-A Gwinnett after starting the season in Double-A and was 5-0 with a 1.43 ERA. He struck out 56 and walked 17 in 50 1/3 innings.Facing the Red Sox http://www.nationalsfanproshop.com/authentic-jayson-werth-jersey , who have the best record in the majors at 94-44 and a 7 1/2-game lead in the American League, will be a step up for Toussaint after facing the Marlins in his debut.“You dream of this as a little kid,” he said. “You want to be in the World Series pitching against the best.”The Red Sox took two of the three games against the Braves in Boston. The Red Sox are 11-3 in interleague games and the Braves are 8-9. Courtesy of his three National League Cy Young Awards, MVP, five ERA titles and numerous other accomplishments, Kershaw has a reputation as the best pitcher of his era that precedes him.And yet it's an open secret that he's not invincible anymore. The 2.73 ERA he posted in 2018 was his highest since 2010. He's downplayinga fastball that no longer has above-average velocity. Likewise, his strikeout rate was barely above average this season.For his part, Ryu has also been downplaying a low-velocity fastball since he reclaimed his status as a regular in the Dodgers rotation in 2017 after he endured two years ruined byshoulder surgery.He nonetheless put up a 1.97 ERA in 15 starts this season. His walk and home run rates were basically equal to Kershaw's, and he struck out 9.7 batters per nine innings to Kershaw's 8.7.So while Roberts isn't likely to say it while he and Kershaw are still inhabiting the same planet Bryce Harper Jersey , Ryu is arguably a better pitcher than Kershawright now.Moreover, the 31-year-old had the approach needed to silence Atlanta's bats out of the gate.As MLB Network's Tom Verducci alluded to during Thursday's broadcast, Braves hitters like to swing their bats. They had the highest swing rate of any National League team, and they especially loved hacking at first-pitch fastballs (meaning four-seamers and two-seamers):20.2 Swing%, 2nd in MLB.667SLUG%, 2nd in MLBWhen it comes to first-pitch fastballs, Kershaw and Ryu couldn't be more different. The former led with heat 64.4 percent of the time. The latter? Only 41 percent.Ryu didn't budge from this formula against the Braves in Game 1. Only 10 of his 25 first pitches (40 percent) were fastballs, and only a handful were in the strike zone:Image courtesy of BaseballSavant.MLB.comBraves hitters never got comfortable against Ryu's backward, inside-out approach. They mustered four hits off him and walked zero times. Ryu struck out eight.For now Stephen Strasburg Jersey , it's good enough for the Dodgers that Ryu's mastery led the way to a 1-0 series lead. What could make Roberts' call look even better in hindsight is if it has a positive effect on Kershaw in Game 2.It's fair to question (as Jon Weisman did at Dodger Thoughts) whether Kershaw's terrible postseason track record is actually that terrible. But everyone and their uncle knows it's not good, which has to do with how he's never taken the mound in October under anything less than a glaring spotlight. Only Kershaw himself knows for sure, but it's fair to wonder how much responsibility that pressure bears for his past failures.This time, however, things will be a little different when Kershaw takes the bump at Chavez Ravine on Friday.Nobody will expect the lefty to get the Dodgers off on the right foot. He must only continue what Ryu started. That's less of a tall task. It may only help him improve on his recent playoff debuts鈥攕ee his6.69 ERA in four NLDS Game 1s between 2014 and 2017.If so, people will have to think twice before second-guessing any further surprises from Roberts.More importantly, the Dodgers' 1-0 lead could turn into a 2-0 lead. Stats courtesy of Baseball Reference, FanGraphs and Baseball Savant.
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