“Effectively wild,” was how manager Brian Snitker characterized Muller’s 87 pitches, and both parts were true. Muller wasn’t throwing the ball where he expected, but the Padres weren’t knocking it over the fence, either. (Profar came close, his drive to right-center hitting the top of the wall.)
Snitker: “When it takes (almost) 90 pitches to get through four innings, that’s probably going to be the end of the line.”
It was. Down 1-0 after four innings, the Braves turned to Shane Greene in the fifth. He began by striking out Chris Paddack, the Padres’ pitcher. Matters deteriorated. Tommy Pham walked. Fernando Tatis ripped a sinker that didn’t sink into the seats in left-center. (It was his 29th home run of the season, so we shouldn’t have been surprised.) The Braves trailed 3-0 more than halfway through.
Greene entered with an ERA of 9.75. He exited with an ERA of 10.38. Snitker’s postgame defense of Greene boiled down to this: “He was pretty good a couple of a days ago.”
As for the Braves’ hitters: They managed three singles, no walks and no runs over five innings against Paddack, whose ERA in his past five appearances was 10.31. You wouldn’t expect to lose a 3-2 game to such a pitcher, but these Braves keep surprising us.
Muller on his performance: “In terms of damage control, I was pleased. It could have gotten out of control…