MLB Game Preview - Giants v Braves

 
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Final 1 2 3   4 5 6   7 8 9   R H E
San Francisco0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 170
Atlanta0 4 0 0 2 0 2 0 x 852
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  W: M. Fried (17-6)   L: J. Cueto (1-1)
4:20 PM PT5:20 PM MT6:20 PM CT7:20 PM ET19:20 ET23:20 GMT7:20 4:20 PM MST6:20 PM EST6:50 PM VEN3:20 UAE (+1)6:20 PM CT, September 21, 2019
SunTrust Park, Atlanta, Georgia  Attendance: 40,899

Braves prepping for playoffs as they host Giants

According to STATS
According to STATS

San Francisco Giants at Atlanta Braves

  1. The Giants are 11-6 on the road against Atlanta since 2014, their best winning percentage as the visitor against any NL team over that time frame. San Francisco is just 4-8 on the road against the NL East in 2019, however, and has lost six straight road series against that division dating back to last season.
  2. Ronald Acuna Jr. hit his 40th homer of the season on Thursday, and two other Braves (Freddie Freeman, 38; Josh Donaldson, 37) are within striking distance of that mark. Only three teams in MLB history -- the 1973 Braves, 1996 Rockies and 1997 Rockies -- have had three players with 40 or more homers in a season.
  3. Kevin Pillar's 84 RBI since joining the Giants on April 2 are the second-most by any player in the division era (since 1969) who started the season with another team. Willie Montanez had 85 after being traded from the Phillies to the Giants in 1975.
  4. Mike Yastrzemski's home run at Boston's Fenway Park on Tuesday was his 13th on the road since May 31. Eugenio Suarez (18), Ronald Acuna. Jr. (17) and Pete Alonso (15) are the only NL players with more over that period.
  5. Mike Foltynewicz has posted a 1.00 ERA through his first three starts of September, second-lowest among qualified NL pitchers so far this month (Adam Wainwright, 0.33). He's just 1-7 with a 5.19 ERA in 11 starts vs. NL West teams since August 2017, with the lone win coming against the Giants on Sept. 11, 2018.
  6. Tyler Beede and Johnny Cueto, the Giants' first two scheduled starters of the series, have not allowed a run while pitching at least five innings in each of their last two starts. The last San Francisco pitcher to go three straight starts of five or more innings while not giving up a run was Jeff Brantley in 1992.
Notes Applicable For Series Dates: 9/20/2019 thru 9/22/2019

Now that the Atlanta Braves have nailed down their second straight National League East championship, they can start to determine who is going to be on the postseason roster.

Part of that question could be answered Saturday when they host the San Francisco Giants in the second game of a three-game set at SunTrust Park.

The Braves will send left-hander Max Fried (16-6, 4.25 ERA) to the mound against veteran Giants right-hander Johnny Cueto (1-0, 0.00).

Fried may be pitching to determine whether he will be a starter or reliever in the postseason. After throwing seven scoreless innings against the Washington Nationals on Sept. 5, Fried has struggled with two subpar outings, both losses.

He allowed five runs in a five-inning start against the Philadelphia Phillies, then gave up five runs in 2 1/3 innings against the Nationals. In three September starts, Fried is 1-2 with a 6.28 ERA.

Given his recent struggles, along with the hot streak enjoyed by veteran Mike Foltynewicz, Fried could find himself out of what could be a three-man rotation for the NL Division Series. Foltynewicz threw eight scoreless innings in the division-clinching win on Friday and has won seven straight decisions.

"I think it was just one of those days," Atlanta manager Brian Snitker said of Fried after the Washington loss. "He was just trying to make everything happen and it wasn't happening for him. We just cut our losses there and he'll do it again the next time."

It will be the third start of the season for Cueto, as he returns from Tommy John surgery. He's been impressive so far, posting a pair of five-inning scoreless stints -- against the Pirates on Sept. 10 and the Marlins on Sept. 15. In those 10 innings, Cueto has allowed only four hits, three walks and has six strikeouts.

"I don't know if anybody expected him to get off to a start like this," San Francisco manager Bruce Bochy said. "But if you look at how he's throwing the ball, its Johnny before the surgery."

The Giants have been very cautious of Cueto's workload. They had originally planned to start him every sixth day, giving him another day between starts, but opted instead to put him on a regular five-day rotation. They are limiting him to five innings and Bochy stuck to that plan last week against Miami, even though Cueto asked for more. He is currently capped at 85 pitches and the club would like him to approach 100 before the season ends.

Cueto has two seasons left on the $130 million contract he signed in 2015. His health and effectiveness could affect how aggressively the team pursues free agent Madison Bumgarner in the offseason. Cueto is scheduled to make two more starts before the season ends.

"I'm thankful that my arm feels good," Cueto said. "I have confidence in all of my pitches."

The Braves nailed down their 19th division championship with a 6-0 win over the Giants on Friday. That ties Atlanta with the New York Yankees for the most division championships in major league history. The Yankees won their 19th title on Thursday.

The victory also ensures the Braves of home-field advantage for the NLDS.

--Field Level Media

Updated September 21, 2019

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