The Indians open up a three-game series against the team with the best record in baseball tonight at Turner Field. Danny Salazar will take on Alex Wood (2-2, 2.50 ERA) for the Braves. In his last five starts, Wood has lasted at least six innings, and has been very stingy with both runs and hits. In three of of the five starts he allowed just one earned run; in two of the five he allowed just two total hits. The Braves’ starters have the sixth lowest ERA in the majors right now. If you happen to find yourself thinking “okay, the Indians just need to run up their pitch count and get to the bullpen,” you may be better off with the starters. The Braves bullpen has the lowest ERA in the majors. In the month of August, the Braves’ pitching staff has held opposing hitters to a .220 batting average. With the Indians’ offense uneven and sputtering lately, this is probably one of the last pitching staffs you want to see right now.
Salazar is coming off another fine start against the Angels, where he allowed just one earned run and three hits over 5.1 innings pitched. The Braves offense, while still in probably the top 10 of baseball right now, has dealt with injuries to both B.J. Upton and Jason Heyward. Upton is back off the DL, but has really struggled for much of the season. I see this game as a pitcher’s duel, or at least one where you’re not going to get many offensive opportunities. The Indians need to avoid the errors and general sloppy play from Sunday, because this could be the kind of game where one error makes or breaks your fortunes.
Use this thread to chat about tonight’s game!