Braves continue ‘grueling week’ with trip to New York, Cincinnati

Braves pitcher Will Smith reacts as the final out is made against the St. Louis Cardinals in the seventh inning of the second game of a doubleheader Sunday, June 20, 2021, at Truist Park in Atlanta. (Ben Margot/AP)
Caption
Braves pitcher Will Smith reacts as the final out is made against the St. Louis Cardinals in the seventh inning of the second game of a doubleheader Sunday, June 20, 2021, at Truist Park in Atlanta. (Ben Margot/AP)

Credit: AP

The Braves arrived in New York around 3 a.m. Monday after completing a doubleheader split against the Cardinals Sunday in Atlanta. They’re continuing a stretch of 10 games in eight days.

At least they started it by taking three of four from St. Louis.

“It was good to win a series against the team like the Cardinals,” manager Brian Snitker said Sunday night. “We got three really good starts. This was a good series to win, big series to win, because we have a grueling week coming up. It’s going to be a tough week. The Reds are playing really well. The Mets obviously are playing really well. So it’s going to be a tough week. It’s good to go into this week with a series win.”

The Braves were set to face the Mets in a doubleheader Monday, meaning they’ll have played four games in two days. They’ll play two more games in Queens before heading to Cincinnati for a four-game series. The Reds entered Monday 35-35, only four games back in the competitive National League Central.

Braves notes:

- The Braves appointed Kyle Muller as their 27th man for Monday’s doubleheader. He was scheduled to start Game 1 opposite of Mets ace and Cy Young favorite Jacob deGrom. It was Muller’s first career start. He made his MLB debut as a reliever last week.

- Closer Will Smith recorded his 13th save in the Braves’ 1-0 win over the Cardinals Sunday night. Smith has posted four consecutive hitless outings since he surrendered Luke Williams’ walk-off homer in the Braves loss at Philadelphia on June 9.

Smith owns a 4.08 ERA and has converted 13 of 14 save opportunities. He has, however, taken five losses. The lefty has his critics, but his manager isn’t one of them.

“His save percentage is as good as any out there,” Snitker said. “Will has been just nails for us in in those situations. Those (games like the Phillies loss) are going to happen to a closer. I remember when Craig (Kimbrel) was here, that happened to him more than once. That’s the life of the closer. Will turns the page and bounces back as good as anybody I’ve ever seen. He has the perfect mindset for that job.”

- The Braves promoted righty Ty Tice to their bullpen Sunday. The team acquired him from Toronto last month after he was designated for assignment. Tice, 24, appeared in four games for Triple-A Gwinnett, posting a 2.08 ERA with six strikeouts in 4-1/3 innings.

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