Advertisement

Vibe not the same for Atlanta Braves, Pittsburgh Pirates entering series

By
Shelly Anderson, The Sports Xchange
Pittsburgh Pirates right-handed pitcher Chris Archer (24) starts throwing in the first inning against the St. Louis Cardinals on August 3, 2018 at PNC Park in Pittsburgh. Photo by Archie Carpenter/UPI
Pittsburgh Pirates right-handed pitcher Chris Archer (24) starts throwing in the first inning against the St. Louis Cardinals on August 3, 2018 at PNC Park in Pittsburgh. Photo by Archie Carpenter/UPI | License Photo

The Atlanta Braves and the Pittsburgh Pirates are each coming off a four-game home series, but they are in different frames of mind going into their three-game set at PNC Park starting Monday

The Braves (68-55), in a tight battle for first in the National League East, got swept by Colorado, including a 4-2 loss Sunday. They will be trying to erase the weekend.

Advertisement

"We've got to quickly forget and get ready for the next one," Atlanta's Tyler Flowers said. "We've got to move on. We're still right in the thick of it. We can't feel sorry for ourselves or linger on whatever mistakes we made this last series.

"Got to be [like] a relief pitcher -- quickly forget it and be ready for the next one."

RELATED Rockies' Marquez hoping for better results vs. Braves

Pittsburgh (63-62), pressing to stay in the hunt for a playoff spot, conversely will still be basking in the glow of its split with the Chicago Cubs, who lead the NL Central. The Pirates held the Cubs to one run in all four games, each on a solo homer, and took Sunday's finale 2-1 on Adam Frazier's two-out walkoff homer in the 11th inning.

"Very impressive. Very pleased. Satisfied," Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said with a huge grin.

Pittsburgh found runs hard to get against the Cubs, with two 1-0 losses and five runs total in the four games, but got stellar pitching.

RELATED Colorado Rockies' rotation rocks on with Antonio Senzatela starting vs. Atlanta Braves

This will be the first meeting this season between Pittsburgh and Atlanta.

The starters on Monday are a matchup of right-handers acquired in trades last month. Atlanta's Kevin Gausman (7-9, 4.22 ERA) faces Pittsburgh's Chris Archer (4-5, 4.49 ERA).

Archer will make his fourth start (1-0) since joining the Pirates. In his last start, he struck out seven, walked none and his teammates staked him to a two-run lead, but he couldn't hold it in what became a no-decision Wednesday in a 6-4 loss at Minnesota.

RELATED Braves host Rockies in battle of young lefties

He gave up four runs and six hits in five-plus innings.

"Everything felt good, but I'd rather put up zeros and feel bad than feel good and give up some runs," Archer said. "We hold ourselves to a high standard as a pitching staff here. I've already learned that. Giving up a couple runs is all right, but giving up four or five is unacceptable.

"Just get back out there in a couple days, continue to hone, continue to sharpen and look forward to having a lot better outing in five days."

Those five days are up for Archer, who has never faced the Braves.

Gausman is 0-1 with an 8.44 ERA against Pittsburgh. He has two wins in a row and three in his past four starts, giving up eight runs and six walks with 17 strikeouts. That includes going 2-1 with a 2.84 ERA since he joined Atlanta from Baltimore.

In a 5-2 win Wednesday over Miami, Gausman gave up two runs in six innings but struggled with his command. The first batter he faced walked and later scored.

"With this team, you never feel like you're out of the game," Gausman said. "You just try to put up zeros and eventually they're going to put up good at-bats."

Latest Headlines