The Braves cleaned up in Coors Field this weekend, winning three straight games for their first sweep in Colorado since 2003.
Freddie Freeman hit his sixth homer and tripled in the 7-2 victory Sunday. The Braves scored 29 runs in the three games.
Freeman is up to 26 RBI for the season, placing him third in the NL behind the Dodgers duo of Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier.
Atlanta improved to 18-11 on the season. MLB.com’s Mark Bowman pointed out that the starting pitchers the last time the Braves swept the Rockies in Coors Field were Greg Maddux, Mike Hampton and Russ Ortiz. This weekend, it was more about the bullpen, as Tim Hudson and Mike Minor were both roughed up in their starts. Brandon Beachy, though, gave the team a quality start today, surrendering two runs in 6 1/3 innings.
I hope you don’t have any plans tonight at around 10PM Eastern time, because that’s when we get a pitching matchup for the ages as Max Scherzer will take on Clayton Kershaw at Dodger Stadium. When they meet tonight it will be the first time two pitchers with three or more Cy Young Awards have matched up since 2006. That year, and in 2005 and 2000, Roger Clemens faced Greg Maddux. In 2001 Clemens faced Pedro Martinez.
Kershaw won his hardware in 2011, 2013 and 2014, with an MVP award in 2014 to boot. Scherzer collected trophies in 2013, 2016 and 2017. Each has started the 2018 season in Cy Young form. Kershaw is 1-2, but that record is due to poor run support. He has a 1.73 ERA and has struck out 31 batters and has walked only three in 26 innings. Scherzer is 3-1 with a 1.33 ERA and a whopping 38 strikeouts to only 4 walks in 27 innings.
This will be the third time that Kershaw and Scherzer faced each other if you include the playoffs. The first meeting was a decade ago when both were rookies. They most recently faced off in Game 1 of the 2016 NLDS, way back when Scherzer only had one Cy Young Award to his credit. Kershaw beat Scherzer in that playoff game and the Dodgers beat Scherzer’s teams in the two regular season matchups, with neither guy setting the world on fire. As so often happens in baseball, the hype hasn’t been matched by reality.
Still, there’s always a chance it will. And even if, in the end, this turns into a slugfest, the first couple of innings should at least give us some hope of something good. I’ll be watching.