Wisler Leads Braves Over Nationals

| July 2, 2015

Braves Marlins 041315

Kyle Taylor, Valdosta Today Sports

ATLANTA – After a rough outing last week for Matt Wisler against the Washington Nationals, he and the Braves bats came back to deliver a game two win in a three game series at Turner Field, avoiding a ten game losing streak against the Nationals.

Wisler (1-1) only pitched five and a third innings, but shut out Washington, while striking out six, and only giving up a single hit in his third career start. The young right-hander did walk five batters.

The Braves have been struggling of late, but Wednesday night’s 4-1 win over the Nats gives them two wins in their last three, dating back to the wrap-up game of the series with the Pittsburgh Pirates.

This game was only the second in the last eight that the Braves offense had scored more than two runs.

Doug Fister (3-3) was on the mound for Washington and gave up all four of the Braves runs in six innings.

All of Atlanta’s runs came in the fourth inning when A.J. Pierzynski delivered a two-run homer to right field, scoring Cameron Maybin. Juan Uribe followed with a solo home run of his own, making the score 3-0, Braves. Matt Wisler would follow with an RBI single, scoring Kelly Johnson.

A.J. Pierzynski told Mark Bowman, “Now that [Wisler] got that first one out of the way, he can forget about hitting.”

With Wisler out of the game early, the Braves relied on a combination of Avilan, Masset, Aardsma, Johnson, and Grilli to finish the game. The relievers three and two thirds innings, while giving up three hits, one run, and four strikeouts. Grilli recorded his 22nd save of the season with a perfect ninth.

Wisler spoke with ESPN about his last start compared to this one, “The last time I was leaving balls up in the zone. Tonight I finally got down in the zone. That’s what helped me a lot with the ground balls. My misses were not like up in the zone and over the plate.”

The Braves will look to continue to make up ground in the division against the first place Nationals on Thursday night to wrap up the series. Atlanta’s number eleven overall prospect, according to MLB.com, Manny Banuelos will get the start Thursday night. Ryan Kelly was optioned back to Gwinnett. Banuelos will be the eighth pitcher for the Braves to make his MLB debut for the team this season.

Banuelos is a 24-year-old, left-handed pitcher that the Braves acquired from the Yankees in the offseason that has had a history with Tommy John surgery. The young starter has impressed at Gwinnett, recording a 6-2 record with a 2.29 ERA in 15 starts.

Who does he get to face to kick off his career? None other than Max Scherzer. The Nationals’ ace is a leading candidate for NL Cy Young with a 9-5 record, 1.79 ERA, and 130 strikeouts.

The Braves will look to manufacture some runs and continue to roll in the right direction before a July 4th weekend series with the Phillies in town. First pitch will come Thursday night at 7:35.

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