The Atlanta Braves have been dealing with a string of injuries to their starting pitchers, causing them to rely on a revolving door of replacements. Despite this challenge, they have managed to maintain a strong lead in the NL East with a record of 36-24.
One bright spot for the Braves has been right-hander Bryce Elder, who currently holds the majors-leading 1.92 ERA in 11 starts. Although he gave up two two-run homers to the Mets in the third inning of a recent game, he bounced back to record 10 outs in the next 10 batters and helped secure a 6-4 win for the Braves.
The team has also had to call up Michael Soroka earlier than anticipated, only to later option him back to Triple A. Additionally, they have had to rely on bullpen games and several inexperienced starters, including 20-year-old AJ Smith-Shawver, who is set to start his first major league game soon.
Despite these challenges, the Braves have managed to win nine out of their past 11 games against the Mets. They currently hold a 6.5-game lead over the third-place New York team in the NL East.
Looking ahead, there are several Braves players who could potentially earn their first All-Star Game appearances in 2023, including Ronald Acuña Jr., Ozzie Albies, Austin Riley, and Matt Olson. Rookie pitcher Spencer Strider has also been performing exceptionally well and could be a contender for a spot in the All-Star Game.
In conclusion, the Braves have been challenged by injuries and a lack of experienced pitching, but they have managed to remain a strong force in the NL East. With several talented players on their roster, they have the potential to continue their success throughout the season.