He looks to show last week was the real Matt Wisler

In Matt Wisler’s wholly encouraging and successful return from a one-month demotion to Triple-A, he took a no-hitter to the seventh inning Thursday at Arizona and ended up pitching eight innings and allowing just two hits, one run and three walks in eight innings, becoming the first Braves pitcher to last more than six innings since July 17.

Matt Wisler (left) greets rookie shortstop Dansby Swanson after Swanson made a nice play during Wisler's dominant outing Thursday at Arizona. (AP photo)

Matt Wisler (left) greets rookie shortstop Dansby Swanson after Swanson made a nice play during Wisler’s dominant outing Thursday at Arizona. (AP photo)

Tonight he’ll try to follow that up with another good outing against the Padres at Turner Field, where Wisler has won just once (1-7) in 12 home starts this season and the Braves are 2-10 in those games.

Keep in mind, Julio Teheran hadn’t won at all this season at Turner Field until the Braves All-Star pitcher ended that improbable drought with an impressive seventh innings of work Tuesday night in a 7-3 win to open the three-game series against San Diego. Wisler hasn’t pitched nearly as well as Teheran this season, but both have been undermined by similarly poor run support, particularly at Turner Field.

Wisler has received just 2.9 support runs per nine innings pitched in his 12 home starts, with the Braves scoring two or fewer runs while he was in the game in nine of those 12 starts, including one or no runs while he was in five. Again, this isn’t to suggest he’s pitched great at home because he hasn’t, but Wisler did have eight quality starts (six innings or more, three earned runs or fewer) in those 12 home starts.

His overall run support (3.67 per nine innings) would rank as the third-lowest among National League starters, but he doesn’t quite have enough innings pitched due to his time spent in Triple-A. That demotion to Gwinnett came about, of course, after he’d struggled for a significant stretch, going 2-6 with a 7.71 ERA in his last 10 starts before being sent down.

Wisler worked on the things the Braves wanted him to work on at Gwinnett, particularly on being more aggressive, and when he was recalled to start at Arizona, he really did look a lot more like the guy who finished last season with a strong run of starts in September. The guy the Brave were – and are – counting on to be a big part of their rotation going forward.

• Opponent started out with Braves: The Padres will counter Wednesday with right-hander Paul Clemens, a seventh-round draft pick by the Braves in 2008 out of Louisburg College in North Carolina.

He spent three years in the Braves minor league system before he was traded July 31, 2011 to the Astros with Jordan Schafer, Bret Oberholtzer and Juan Abreu in exchange for Michael Bourn and cash.

Clemens has pitched in 60 major league games (13 starts) for three organizations, going 6-11 with a 5.37 ERA. The bulk of that came as an Astros rookie in 2013, when he was 4-7 with a 5.40 ERA in 35 games (five starts).

After spending parts of two seasons with the Astros, he became a minor league free agent, pitched in the Phillies and Royals minor league systems in 2015, and signed with the Marlins as a free agent last November. I

In other words, this native Southerner – born in Columbia, S.C., attended high school in Fairfax, Va. – has followed a twisting, adversity-filled baseball career path similar to what so many others travel, but that few people know the details about because we don’t write so much about baseball journeymen.

Truth be told, there are a lot more like Clemens in baseball than there are star players, and you’ll find a whole lot of the journeyman types filling out starting rotations, bullpens and benches for non-contending teams.

Clemens got knocked around in two games (both starts) for Miami early this season before being claimed off waivers by the Padres. The Virgina has a 3.95 ERA and .240 opp avg in six road games (two starts) compared to a 5.54 ERA and .291 ERA in six home games (six starts), but three-fourths of his starts have been at home.

He’s never faced the Braves, and given his background and upbringing, I’m going to guess there will be some friends and/or family of Paul Clemens in the sparse crowd tonight at Turner Field.

Clemens lasted five innings or fewer in each of his first seven starts this season before going 5 1/3 innings in his most recent outing Aug. 24 against the Cubs, a loss at home in which he allowed seven hits and five runs (four earned) with no walks and six strikeouts.

Clemens has made five consecutive turns in the starting rotation and gone 1-2 with a 5.25 ERA and .283 opponents’ average in that span with 19 strikeouts and seven walks in 24 innings. He got 7.5 support runs per nine innings pitched in that span and the Padres won three of those five starts.

Oh, and I almost forgot to mention, he’s got severe reverse splits: Right-handers have hit .316 (31-for-98) with eight homers and a whopping .622 slugging percentage against him, while lefties have hit .217 (15-for-69) with two homers and a .391 slugging percentage.

• Etc.

The Braves have alternated wins and losses – won one, lost one, won one, lost one, etc. — for their past 10 games, going 5-5 with a .279 batting average, 6.12 ERA, 57 runs and nine homers in that 10-game span against the Nationals, at Arizona and San Francisco, and Tuesday’s series opener against the Padres.

• Let’s close with this one by Lindi Ortega from her album Cigarettes & Truckstops.

Lindi Ortega

Lindi Ortega

“THE DAY YOU DIE” by Lindi Ortega

You said you’d love me ’til the cows come home
Well I’m hopin’ that they all go blind
Get lost along some dirt back road
And just hang around for someone else to find

You said you’d love me ’til the end of time
So I’m staring at that clock on the wall
Every day I give that thing a wind
And pretend that I ain’t waitin’ on your call

Oh why do I gotta do
All the silly things I do
Just tryin’ to keep this love alive
Why does it gotta be
So damn hard for me
Just don’t say you’ll love ’til the day you die

You said you’d love me ’til the trains don’t run
So I’m callin’ up that old border man
I gotta make that train roll on
Well you might not but I sure give a damn

Oh why do I gotta do
All the silly things I do
Just tryin’ to keep this love alive
Why does it gotta be
So damn hard for me
Just don’t say you’ll love ’til the day you die

Oh why do I gotta do
All the silly things I do
Just tryin’ to keep this love alive
Why does it gotta be
So damn hard for me
Just don’t say you’ll love ’til the day you die

Oh why do I gotta do
All the silly things I do
Just tryin’ to keep this love alive
Why does it gotta be
So damn hard for me
Just don’t say you’ll love ’til the day you die
The day you die


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