The Atlanta Braves will turn to rookie Spencer Strider to start Game 3 of their divisional series against the Philadelphia Phillies on Friday afternoon while veteran Charlie Morton will get the ball in Game 4, the team announced Friday morning.
Strider, 23, hasn’t pitched in a game since Sept. 18 due to a minor oblique issue, but after throwing several bullpens over the last week, the Braves declared him ready to go.
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The team waited to make the announcement as they contemplated how he would be most effective for them in the best-of-five series, after not throwing in a game for almost a month They also could have pitched him out of the bullpen.
“We’re going to use him,” Braves manager Brian Snitker said on Thursday. “That’s probably the biggest discussion, is how we’re going to use this kid for our best advantage.”
Strider was fantastic during the regular season where he posted a 2.67 ERA both as a reliever then a starter. He’s likely to finish the year as a finalist for the Rookie of the Year in the NL and just recently signed a long term contract to remain with the Braves.
“I feel good, and hopefully it keeps trending in that direction,” Strider said of his injury recently.
He’ll be opposed by Phillies right-hander Aaron Nola.
Meanwhile, 15-year veteran Morton will start Game 4 for Atlanta on Saturday. He didn’t have his best season in 2021 but has a history of performing well in the playoffs.
Morton, 38, had a 5.40 ERA in September but has a career mark two runs lower in the postseason. He was 9-6 with a 4.34 ERA in 31 starts this year. Philadelphia has not named a Game 4 starter.
The series is tied, 1-1.
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