Kyle Wright and conviction, Ronald Acuña Jr.’s speed, starters for Miami series

Credit: AP

Credit: AP

As he analyzed Saturday’s start, Kyle Wright went through it all. He started with the first five innings, in which he battled to keep the Astros off the board. He then discussed the sixth, when he allowed two home runs as the game swung.

On one, he hung a curveball. On another, he didn’t throw the worst pitch, though it could’ve been executed a bit better.

He landed on this: He must be more convicted.

But what does that mean?

“I guess the short answer is letting it eat, letting it rip,” Wright said. “Sometimes with two strikes, I try to be a little too cute and try to do too much, and sometimes that ends up causing me to make a bad pitch. So I think just kind of having that ‘Let it eat’ mentality, I think you end up executing a lot better and you end up making better pitches. Especially two strikes, you start putting the ball in the right area.”

He used this example: Yes, Kyle Tucker homered on a curveball below the strike zone, but Wright felt he should’ve thrown that down and in – a backfoot curveball instead of one that was middle. So with conviction and the proper mentality, perhaps Wright would’ve made a better pitch.

These are the finer points of pitching to big-league hitters, who can embarrass you for any simple mistake. More than anything, Wright’s postgame press conference following Saturday’s loss underscored how difficult it is to pitch in the majors. And he might’ve been overly critical of himself, a testament to the high standards he has for himself.

The Astros had zero runs through five innings.

They had four after six.

Wright ended up allowing four runs – three earned – over six innings. That sixth inning did him in, but he was otherwise great.

“I thought he competed very well,” Braves manager Brian Snitker said. “I thought overall, it was really good. I thought he battled well through the whole thing. I mean, he’s probably been sharper before but I thought the stuff, overall, was good.”

Ronald Acuña Jr. impacting games with his legs

After setting a new career high with three stolen bases in one game on Saturday, Ronald Acuña Jr. is one of three players with multiple games of two or more stolen bases. Acuña is the only player in the majors with three stolen bases in a game.

Acuña, who entered Sunday with an MLB-leading 11 stolen bases, is the first Braves player to reach 10 stolen bases before May 1 since Ender Inciarte (13) in 2018 and the sixth Braves player in the modern era (since 1900) to do so.

Rotation for Miami series

The Marlins come to town for four games on Monday through Thursday.

Here are the pitching matchups for the series:

  • Monday: Right-hander Spencer Strider versus Miami right-hander Edward Cabrera
  • Tuesday: Right-hander Charlie Morton versus TBA (To be announced)
  • Wednesday: Right-hander Bryce Elder versus Miami right-hander Sandy Alcantara
  • Thursday: Right-hander Kyle Wright versus Miami left-hander Braxton Garrett

Baseball is weird

Baseball oddities pop up all the time.

The latest has to do with three-game skids.

The Braves entered Sunday’s series finale against the Astros on a three-game losing streak. It marked their second three-game losing streak of the season ... through only 21 games.

Last season, the Braves didn’t lose three games in a row until August in New York. But last year’s Braves were 10-11 through 21 games.

This year’s Braves are 14-7 and, at this point, are off to a much faster start than they experienced in 2022.