Atlanta Braves Head to Arch City to Play MLB Best Cardinals


After taking two of three at home against a contending Los Angeles Dodgers team, the Atlanta Braves are in for a doozy of a series when the Bravos head to the Arch City to take on the best team in baseball, the St. Louis Cardinals.  Entering last night’s slate of games, the Atlanta Braves sit five below .500 at 45-50.  St. Louis (60-34) have their eyes set on winning a World Series after last season’s heartbreaking loss in the NLCS to the San Francisco Giants thanks to a Travis Ishikawa walk off homer.

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The Cardinals are never bad.  They basically live in the postseason and get to NLCS’s every year to the rest of the National League’s chagrin as the NL’s version of the New York Yankees.  We can call them that since the Cards have won 12 Fall Classics, including two in the last ten seasons (2006, 2011).  As badly as I want the Atlanta Braves to whoop up the St. Louis Cardinals (bad 2012 Wild Card Game memories), Fredi Gonzalez‘s team has their work cut out for them against Mike Matheny‘s squad.

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  • In tonight’s series opener, the Atlanta Braves send rookie LHP Manny Banuelos (1-1, 1.08 ERA) to the mound to take on fellow rookie Tim Cooney (0-0, 0.33 ERA).  Banuelos is on an innings limit follow last year’s Tommy John surgery and this could be his last start for Atlanta before being relegated to the bullpen.  I’d love to see our young lefty carve up some Cards and lead the Braves to victory tonight.

    Shelby Miller (5-6, 2.33 ERA) takes on fellow 2015 NL All-Star Carlos Martinez (10-4, 2.51 ERA) Saturday evening at Busch Stadium.  This already seems to me like a pitchers’ duel.  Unfortunately for Miller that means he probably won’t get any run support again against the young stud pitcher that is Carlos Martinez for the Redbirds.  Looks like Fredi is going to have to do his best impersonation of Cardinals HOF Skipper Whitey Herzog and play some “Whiteyball” to best St. Louis in this one.  Wouldn’t it be cool if Miller ends his winless streak in St. Louis striking out Jason Heyward?  That sounds too perfect to actually happen.

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    And in the series finale, let’s hope that the Atlanta Braves can beat the Cardinals for John Smoltz who gets forever enshrined in Cooperstown Sunday.  Matt Wisler (4-1, 3.60 ERA) gets to try his best against All-Star RHP Michael Wacha (11-3, 3.20 ERA).  I’ve really enjoyed Wisler’s starts for Atlanta.  The dude can pitch and projects as a front line starter, kind of like Wacha, for many years to come.  For Smoltzie’s sake, let’s win this game.

    It will be a major challenge for the Braves to win this series on the road.  Atlanta has to win today and hopefully steal a game either Saturday or Sunday.  But then again, Miller will probably be amped to pitch against his former team and I like how Wisler’s pitched thus far this season.  I really don’t enjoy tolerating the St. Louis Cardinals, so let’s be a major thorn in their side this weekend, Atlanta Braves.  At least we have a guy going into Cooperstown wearing our cap and they don’t!  Go Braves!

    Next: Chris Johnson: Running Out of Time in Atlanta?

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