If they’re going to salvage this series, focus appears to be the key.
In lieu of what would be a usual preview where we just hit on the pitching matchups a little bit, I’m instead just going to get straight to the point here for today’s game between the Braves and the Diamondbacks. Simply put, the Braves either need some sort of wake-up call or they need to figure out how to get out of their own way, because these past two games here in Arizona have represented a nadir for this current era of Braves baseball.
If the Braves are going to win today, playing clean, disciplined and smart baseball is a must. That’s something that we haven’t seen consistently this year and it’s completely disappeared at times during this series. The Braves ran themselves out of potentially extended innings on multiple occasions during last night’s game and it played a major factor in why they dropped that game. The defense was once again not good enough and it’s still not where it needs to be if this team is going to start playing well for an extended period of time.
That’s basically the key to the game for today: Just cut out the silly nonsense. Kyle Wright is going today and hopefully he’ll be able to put in another solid performance. Wright’s line in his last start wasn’t exactly flattering but pitched a decent enough game and kept the Braves in the game with a chance to win while he was out there. Wright’s been about as reliable as Max Fried so far this season and it’s absolutely paramount that he lives up to expectations once again. It’s also paramount that his teammates don’t extend innings with errors or other defensive miscues. It’s time to play a clean game out there.
On the other side of things, Madison Bumgarner will be starting for Arizona and I’m going to be brutally honest: The Braves have to come out and set the tone offensively against Bumgarner. The veteran hurler has not been good recently, as he’s run into trouble in the form of two tough starts against the Dodgers with a four-run outing against the Cubs sandwiched in-between there. If the Braves are going to have a chance, they’re going to have to extend Bumgarner’s misery for another game. Hopefully we see a continuation of the hitting we saw from this crew last night.
Ultimately, this game is likely going to come down to whether or not the Braves beat themselves again. Bad defense and untimely hitting doomed them in the first game of this series. Undisciplined baserunning and a bullpen collapse helped to cost them the second game. If you’re a Diamondbacks fan who may be reading this then I apologize for making it seem like this is just “Braves bad” since the other team still has to execute and take advantage of mistakes. With that being said, I’m honestly pretty exasperated with what I’ve been seeing from my favorite baseball team at the moment so forgive me if the frustration is a little too loud at the moment.
Hopefully by the time this game is done, I’ll be reporting back to y’all about what the Braves did to at least salvage this series. This team is absolutely better than what they’ve shown here in the early stages of the season and they’re definitely better than the shambolic display that they’ve put on over the past two days. It’s time to show and prove.
Game Date/Time: Wednesday, June 1, 3:40 p.m. ET
Location: Chase Field, Phoenix, Arizona
TV: Bally Sports South
Radio: 680 AM / 93.7 FM The Fan