Atlanta can clinch the NL East outright with a win Thursday
After taking the first two games of the series, the Atlanta Braves can clinch a fourth straight division title with a win in their series finale against the Philadelphia Phillies Thursday night at Truist Park. The Braves took the opener 2-1 as Charlie Morton outdueled Zack Wheeler. Max Fried followed up Morton’s effort with a solid performance Wednesday night in a 7-2 win cutting the magic number to one. Wednesday’s victory extended the Braves’ winning streak to five-straight games and moved them to a season-best 13 games over .500 at 85-72.
Thursday’s game will feature a pitching matchup between Atlanta’s Ian Anderson and Philadelphia right-hander Kyle Gibson. Anderson went on the injured list in the middle of July with a shoulder issue. He missed over a month and has been up and down since his return. His velocity has been down slightly and he just hasn’t been as sharp as what we saw during the first half.
Anderson turned in a good performance in his last start where he allowed two hits, one run and struck out eight over seven innings against the Diamondbacks. Atlanta juggled their rotation thanks to Monday’s off day and that has given Anderson a little more time to rest. He has faced the Phillies four times this season allowing eight earned runs in 23 1/3 innings.
Gibson will be making his first start against Atlanta this season in Thursday’s game. He was acquired along with Ian Kennedy and Hans Crouse from the Texas Rangers at the trade deadline. Gibson has made 11 appearances (10 starts) for Philadelphia and has a 4.87 ERA and a 3.80 FIP in 64 2/3 innings since the trade. He allowed three hits and four runs over six innings in his last start against the Pirates.
Thursday’s game is scheduled to get underway at 7:20 p.m. ET and can be seen on Bally Sports South.
Game Date/Time: Thursday, September 30, 7:20 p.m. ET
Location: Truist Park, Atlanta, Georgia
TV: Bally Sports South
Radio: 680 AM / 93.7 FM The Fan, WNNX 100.5, Braves Radio Network