For this squad to win, so much has to go exactly right.
The starting pitcher must be nearly flawless. The Braves must field properly, meaning it helps if Aybar is on the pine whether he has a chicken bone lodged in his throat or not. The pen must throw a couple decent innings, and of course the team needs to score at least a little.
This might sound like a routine formula for any team, and indeed it certainly works for any team. But a lot of teams can get by without all of these happening perfectly. And a lot of teams do at least some of these things right most of the time. That’s where the Braves have trouble. They rarely put two of these four elements together. Maybe they will tonight.
Wisler, at least, is a good bet to hold up his end. We’ll see about the rest.
Going back to Chris’ post about Julio: I fully agree the Braves shouldn’t trade him. There is no pitching surplus. There could be in a year or two, but not now. And I’m encouraged about Julio long-term, in part because he is effective without throwing 93-95. He is pitching superbly with his fastball at 90-92. And of course I could be wrong, but it seems unlikely he will lose even more velocity. Maybe Folty can learn from his rotation mate.
Tonight’s lineup, which Snitker has shuffled, and why not: Inciarte, Beckham 3B, Freddie, Markakis, KJ 2B, Pierzynski, Aybar (dammit), Wisler, Mallex.