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The Atlanta Braves wasted a gem thrown by Spencer Strider after Will Smith entered the game and put the team in a 1-0 deficit to the St. Louis Cardinals.
The Atlanta Braves were coming off of a red-hot June that helped them pull within striking distance of the New York Mets for first place in the NL East. July has been just as good since the Braves already took the first three games of their four-game series against the St. Louis Cardinals. On July 7, they had the chance to secure the four-game sweep with a win.
Atlanta had Spencer Strider on the mound, and he pitched an absolute gem against the Cardinals. Through six scoreless innings, Strider struck out 12 batters and allowed just two hits. Yet, manager Brian Snitker decided to go with Will Smith for the seventh inning, and the Cardinals took an immediate lead.
Braves: Will Smith ruins Spencer Strider gem
On Smith’s second pitch thrown of the game, he surrendered a double to Nolan Gorman. In the next at-bat, Dylan Carson hit a single on a fly ball to second base. Then, the Cardinals veteran knocked in Gorman on a sacrifice fly to give them a 1-0 lead.
Smith then threw a wild pitch that allowed Carson to advance to third place. But, he was able to prevent further damage by getting Edmundo Sosa and Austin Romine to strike out swinging in the following two at-bats.
Strider will not get the win, but he did make some history. According to ESPN Stats and Info, he is the first rookie in MLB’s modern era to strike out 11-or-more batters and allow two-or-fewer hits in consecutive games. In his previous start on July 2 against the Cincinnati Reds, Strider recorded 11 strikeouts and surrendered one hit in the 4-1 victory.
The Braves tied the game in the bottom of the seventh inning on a solo home run by Michael Harris II.