With Max Fried sidelined and Charlie Morton out through the NLDS, the Braves' hopes of advancing past the first round of the MLB playoffs hinge on their offense being a one-through-nine collective battering ram, as well as the right arm of Spencer Strider.
But shhh! Don't get too loud when Strider's on the mound! It could set Atlanta off course, something we'd certainly hate.
As if Dodgers fans needed any additional motivation to beat the Braves ahead of a potential NLCS clash, Strider produced one of the most absurd hot takes you'll ever hear this week, telling a host on the mlb.fits/IG channel that he wishes every game were like 2020, and that fans shouldn't get any closer than the outfield or upper deck.
Yes. That's it. Exactly the mentality you want to be evoking right before cacophonous road playoff games. Certainly won't come back to bite you.
Dodgers have to destroy ear drums of Braves' Spencer Strider, who hates fans
Game 1 Spencer Strider at Truist Park Sowing: Ha ha, yes! This is great!
Game 5 Spencer Strider at Dodger Stadium Reaping: What the f***?
The Dodgers' last look at Strider came in a game that was 7-1 Atlanta with two outs in the fifth inning before Jason Heyward delivered a backbreaking three-run homer. The righty was one pitch away from ending on a high note, and LA's offense instead muddied his line and drew first blood before a potential playoff battle.
It's crucial to note, too, that it's no wonder Strider thinks fans should back away and let the players play in empty ballparks, considering the fact that the City of Philadelphia breathed down his neck last October in a five-run outing (just 2.1 innings) that facilitated Atlanta's early elimination from the postseason.
If I'm power ranking things I don't want to hear my ace say before a playoff run, "I hate crowds and fans" slots in right ahead of "I have amnesia and forget what a 'slider' is" and just below "My arm hurts a lot." Best of luck to Strider, who already opened the door for Dodgers fans with his tough outing last month, and is now going to have a whale of a time quieting down the folks over the dugout if he's lucky enough to start in LA next month.