Braves' Spencer Strider looks to rebound vs. Mets in DH nightcap

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Aug 7, 2023; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA;  Atlanta Braves starting pitcher Spencer Strider (99) delivers a pitch against the Pittsburgh Pirates during the first inning at PNC Park.
Aug 7, 2023; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; Atlanta Braves starting pitcher Spencer Strider (99) delivers a pitch against the Pittsburgh Pirates during the first inning at PNC Park.
Image: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Despite possessing the best record in Major League Baseball, the Atlanta Braves have been presented with plenty of challenges during a season-long 11-game road trip

The New York Mets, in the midst of their longest homestand thus far, received more reminders Friday of all that has gone wrong this season


The visiting Braves will look to extend the Mets' struggles on Saturday when the longtime National League East rivals are slated to meet in a doubleheader

A pair of right-handers -- rookie Allan Winans (0-0, 4.15 ERA) and second-year star Spencer Strider (12-4, 3.94) -- are slated to start in that order for the Braves. The Mets will counter with rookie right-hander Denyi Reyes (0-1, 6.14) in the opener and veteran left-hander Jose Quintana (0-3, 3.42) in the nightcap


The Braves won Friday's opener in unusual fashion, when Charlie Morton and four relievers combined to allow seven hits and issue nine walks yet still blank the Mets, 7-0

The seven walks were a career-high for Morton, who became the first Braves starter to walk seven batters since Sean Newcomb did so on Aug. 3, 2017. The nine walks were a season-high for Atlanta

Even with Morton's five scoreless innings Friday, Braves starters have combined to post a 9.20 ERA over the past seven games -- a span in which Atlanta has gone 3-4

"As a team, no one entity is insulated from when you're going to have to fight it," manager Brian Snitker said Friday afternoon of the Braves, who are the only team in baseball on a 100-win pace. "It's not easy and that's why you play six months and all six months count. So it's just one of those glitches that we're in right now.


The Mets endured a glitch after star shortstop Francisco Lindor was a last-minute scratch due to right side soreness. Lindor, who played in each of New York's first 114 games, said he felt better Friday night. He will get imaging done on Saturday

Without Lindor, the Mets became the first team since at least 1900 to draw nine walks or more and finish with at least seven hits while being shut out


"We just didn't put a lot of good swings when we had people out there on base," manager Buck Showalter said after the Mets fell 11 games under .500 and a season-high 21 1/2 games behind the Braves, with whom they finished tied atop the NL East last year

Winans, a former Mets farmhand who leads the Triple-A International League with a 2.79 ERA among pitchers with 60 or more innings, will be making his first big league appearance since his debut July 22, when he didn't factor into the decision after allowing two runs over 4 1/3 innings as the Braves fell to the Milwaukee Brewers, 4-3


Strider took the defeat on Monday, when he gave up six runs over a season-low 2 2/3 innings in the Braves' 7-6 loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates. He is 3-1 with a 7.23 ERA in seven career games (five starts) against the Mets

Reyes hasn't pitched in the majors since May 1, when he made his lone appearance against the Braves and took the loss in his second career start after surrendering five runs in one inning as the Mets fell, 9-8, in the first game of a doubleheader


Quintana took the loss last Sunday, when he allowed two runs over six innings as the Mets fell to the Baltimore Orioles, 2-0. He is 2-3 with a 7.53 ERA in six starts against the Braves

--Field Level Medi