The Atlanta Braves look to bounce back against the Arizona Diamondbacks after being swept in their three-game series against the Boston Red Sox.
The Braces nearly got away from the sweep during Wednesday’s afternoon game. Acuna hit just the second pitch off Hector Velazquez which resulted in a Braves single-season franchise record eight walk-off home runs this season.
However, Red Sox second baseman, Brandon Phillips, hit a bomb of a home run in the top of the 9th inning giving the Sox a 9-8 victory and the series sweep.
Recently the Diamondbacks took on the San Diego Padres at home and were able to take one of the two games in the series to avoid the sweep. Currently, the Diamondbacks are just two games out of a wild card spot behind the Los Angeles Dodgers and the St Louis Cardinals.
While Arizona is 4-6 within their last 10 games, the final month of the season will play a pivotal role as to if the Diamondbacks will be able to fight for a chance in the world series.
Taking the mound for the Diamondbacks is right-handed pitcher Zack Greinke.
Through 176 innings pitched, Greinke has walked away with a 13-9 record and 176 strikeouts all while maintaining a 2.97 ERA this season.
Although Greinke doesn’t have the fastest four-seam fastball he gets it over the plate with ease. Along with his fastball, Greinke also has relied on his arsenal of pitches this season which include his change-up, slider, curve, and sinker.
One name to watch out for is the first baseman, Paul Goldschmidt. Goldschmidt currently leads the Diamondbacks organization in batting average (.295), HRs (31) and RBIs (80). Goldschmidt continues to be a dominant presence for this team both in the clubhouse and on the field. From being a hard hitter to an aggressive base runner, Goldschmidt is able to bring energy to the organization with just one swing of a bat.
Taking the mound for the Braves is right-handed pitcher Anibal Sanchez.
Through 108.2 innings pitched, Sanchez had recorded 106 strikeouts along with a 2.98 while gathering a 6-5 record on the season.
Sanchez has shown us a wide variety of pitches this season but we have heavily seen his fastball, change-up and cutter while also catching glimpses of his curve, sinker, and slider. His cutter is arguable one of his better pitches with a solid rise and phenomenal cutting action.
One name to watch out for, during not only this game but within the series in general, will be right-fielder Nick Markakis. Markakis leads the Braves and ranks within the Top 20 in RBIs with 85. He also has blasted 14 home runs and currently is maintaining a .304 batting average. His ability to connect with the ball whether it be low and outside or simply a bit high allows him to succeed and ultimately helps the Braves generate more runs.
This should be a very good series between both teams who have solid bullpen members.