70.8 F
Los Angeles

Braves bring World Series feel against confident

Seattle Mariners fans have never experienced a World Series.

And with the Mariners having failed to make the postseason since 2001 — the longest drought in North America’s four major professional sports — they had few reasons to dream about one, either.

That could change this weekend, when the defending champion Atlanta Braves arrive in Seattle riding a seven-game winning streak. The Mariners currently hold one of the American League’s three wild-card berths.

One reason for optimism in Seattle: The Mariners (77-60) are following the Braves’ (86-51) longtime blueprint of pitching and defense.

“Every day our team comes into the ballpark and says, ‘Who’s pitching for us?’ And it’s a good feeling,” Mariners manager Scott Servais said. ‘OK, who’s pitching? Oh, yeah, we’ll be right there. We’re going to win today.’ And then tomorrow: ‘Oh, yeah. We’re right there.’

“There’s no better feeling: Pitching drives the train; it will always drive the train in baseball, as far as I’m concerned. You’ve got to make the plays behind them and do all the other stuff. But we’re in a good spot. Love our rotation. We just got to keep them healthy.”

Left-hander Robbie Ray (12-8, 3.45 ERA) is scheduled to start the series opener for Seattle. Ray, who won the AL Cy Young Award last season with Toronto before signing with the Mariners as a free agent in the offseason, has won his past four starts while yielding a 1.05 ERA.

  Nathaniel Lowe is the Rangers' breakout slugger

Ray hasn’t allowed a run over his past two appearances, including six scoreless innings Saturday in a 4-0 victory at Cleveland. Ray is 1-2 with a 4.50 ERA in six career starts against Atlanta.

The Braves plan to counter with veteran right-hander Charlie Morton (7-5, 4.01), who is coming off an 8-1 victory last Friday against Miami in which he allowed one run on four hits in 5 2/ 3 innings. Morton is 5-3 with a 4.30 ERA in 10 starts against Seattle.

Both teams had Thursday off.

The Mariners had a rare defensive blemish Wednesday, committing three errors that led to six unearned runs in a 9-6 defeat to the visiting Chicago White Sox despite two home runs by Eugenio Suarez. It was just the second loss for the Mariners in their past 10 games.

“It’s very uncharacteristic of what we normally do,” Servais said. “I do not want to harp on it. The sky is not falling. We had a bad day. We’ll come back and play good defense and throw more strikes and do all those other things you need to do to win games on the weekend. I’m very certain of that.”

The Braves are a half-game behind the New York Mets in the NL East but have a double-digit lead atop the league’s wild-card standings.

Atlanta won 7-3 on Wednesday at Oakland as rookie Spencer Strider overcame a rough start, while Vaughn Grissom and Dansby Swanson homered.

  Astros place closer Ryan Pressly on 15-day Il

“It’s all about winning today’s game for these guys, no matter who we’re playing,” Braves manager Brian Snitker said. “They prepare that way. They’re consistent. It does say a lot about this team.”

The infusion of rookies like Strider and Grissom have helped the Braves counter any hangover from winning last year’s World Series.

“It’s been incredible,” Grissom said. “Winning is super fun. These guys, we’re all jelling, and it’s just been unreal.”


www.yardbarker.com

How useful was this post?

Click on a star to rate it!

Average rating / 5. Vote count:

No votes so far! Be the first to rate this post.

Latest articles

Angels Stadium Seating Chart

Angels Stadium Seating Chart details you should know before buying a ticket. Angel Stadium of...

Cardinals activate Jack Flaherty from IL

As expected, the Cardinals reinstated Jack Flaherty from the 60-day injured list before Monday’s game...

Betting on baseball

Betting on baseball can seem confusing at first, but it's actually quite simple once you...

Red Sox, Enrique Hernandez agree to one-year, $10M...

The Red Sox have gotten a jump on their offseason business, reportedly agreeing to a...

Subscribe for tips

More like this

Uncertainty looms with Astros’ leadership despite

The Astros wrapped up the top seed in the American League Friday night, having...

Marlins prioritizing high-contact hitters this offseason

For the second straight offseason, the Marlins will head into the winter needing to...

Josh Jung bids to impress as Rangers face Angels

The Texas Rangers will continue to give a strong look to top prospect Josh...

After clincher, Mariners look to improve wild-card

The Seattle Mariners might have a few bleary-eyed players, and even some coaches, when...

MLB roundup: Mariners clinch first playoff bid

Pinch hitter Cal Raleigh hit a tiebreaking, walk-off home run with two outs in...

Offseason outlook for the Oakland Athletics

The 2022 A’s were as bad as expected after trading away Matt Olson, Chris...