Braves Lines from Julio Land

jteheran-odBraves WON!

Shutup Philly: Julio Teheran threw the first shutout and first complete game of his career. It was fun to watch and it’s a pretty line: 9IP, 3H, 0R, 0BB, 4SO. It was the first complete game shutout for Atlanta since Kris Medlen shutout the Bucs on 8/16/12. It was the Braves first 1-0 complete game shutout for the Braves in 11 years, when Russ Ortiz shutout the Fish on 9/16/03.

This was the Braves second 1-0 win this season, the first one coming in the final game against Milwaukee in the opening series of the year. Atlanta only had one 1-0 win last season, and that game was started by Kris Medlen on 9/27/13. That game was also the last time any pitcher in baseball had struck out 13 batters in a game in lost; the losing pitcher in that game was the same as the losing pitcher in last night’s game… Cliff Lee. Guy just doesn’t know how to win.

A new weapon for JT? Did Julio Teheran discover a new use for an old pitch in last night’s win? In last night’s shutout, Teheran threw his two-seam sinking fastball more than any other pitch. He also thew that pitch more than he had in any other start in his Major League career. Of his 115 total pitches he threw last night 49 were sinkers, that’s 15 more sinkers than he had ever thrown in a game. He generally keeps his rate of sinkers thrown between 15 and 25 percent of his total pitches in a game, last night his sinker accounted for 42 percent of his total pitches. The pitch he cut back on was his four-seam fastball, which he threw less than he had in any previous start in his career. We’ll have to wait and see if he has truly discovered something new with that pitch. He developed his two-seamer while pitching in the Dominican Winter League prior to the 2013 season.

Also location: Teheran also did a good job of commanding the entire strike zone and beyond. You can see from the heat map of his pitches below against left-handed batters last night (via ESPN) that he was able to keep the ball on the lower outside part of the plate. His two-seamer has a natural sink and moves away from left-handers. With the Phillies using 5 left-handed batters last night, they might have played right into what Julio wanted to do.

julio-shutout

There’s no K in Andrelton: The Simba strikeout watch continues. Despite the team striking out 13 times last night (including the first time since 5/12/12 that Jason Heyward has struck out 4 times in a game), Andrelton Simmons did not strike out, and has not struck out yet this season in 45 at-bats.

There’s no BB in Gattis: The Evan Gattis walk watch continues. El Oso Blanco has not walked yet this season, though with the way he’s swinging it the past few games I don’t want him to be patient. Just 5 days ago on April 11th, Gattis was hitting a paltry .208 with just 1 home run and 2 RBI–there were some who were concerned. Three games later he’s hitting .378, thanks to going 9-13 with 3 home runs. He’s also hit safely in 8 of the 9 games he’s started.

Meanwhile, the minor league Braves…

Terdo goes deep, Mejia stays hot: Gwinnett won. Joey Terdoslavich hit his first home run of the year and collected 2 hits for the second straight game, but that doesn’t come close to the kind of hot Ernesto Mejia is right now. He went 3-4, his 5th multi-hit game in a row. Hector Daniel Rodriguez has put together nothing but good starts this season, and last night was no different: 5IP, 5H, 1R, 1BB, 6SO. Reliever Juan Jaime did what he’s done a lot this year, pitch a scoreless inning with a walk and 2 strikeouts–third time in five games he’s done exactly that.

Shutout for Sip: Mississippi won. Williams Perez had yet another terrific start: 5.2IP, 2H, 0R, 2BB, 5SO. Perez has more of a Ray King physique than the typical pitcher’s physique, but he’s a sinkerballer with excellent control. I’m going to keep a closer eye on him this season. He could slip into pitchability prospect territory. Relievers Ryne Harper, James Hoyt, and Shae Simmons preserved the shutout, though Simmons loaded the bases in the ninth on a hit and 2 walks before finally picking up his 4th save of the season. Those were the first 2 walks of the year for Simmons.

Hillcats split: Lynchburg lost then won. Wes Parson had a rough time of it in game one, though all the damage came in his final inning: 5.1IP, 5H, 4R, 2BB, 7SO. Eric Pfisterer had yet another rough outing in relief: 1.2IP, 3H, 3R, 1BB, 1SO, 1HBP. Greg Ross got the start in game two, and made it a great one: 5IP, 2H, 0R, 0BB, 6SO. The hitting was suspect in both games, with only 9 total hits for the Cats.

Comeback and a walk-off: Rome won. Starting pitcher Carlos Salazar had his best start yet, and has gotten better each time out: 5IP, 5H, 2R, 1BB, 3SO, 1HBP. Rome came back to tie the game in the 9th on a double by Blake Brown (1-3, BB, K, SB), then in the 11th they got a walk-off single from Daniel Carroll, in his first game of the year after being called up recently.

Posted in Daily Braves Lines | Comments Off

Braves Lines for Wednesday

Braves were rained out. The game will be made up as part of a double-header during the Braves and Phillies series from June 27-29. The Braves will skip David Hale in the rotation, and start Julio Teheran today. Hale will be available out of the bullpen, then likely make his last start on Sunday (before Minor or Floyd return).

How Is Freddie Freeman Becoming One of MLB’s Biggest Offensive Forces? I’m glad you asked, perhaps some answers await you in my latest article for Bleacher Report.

A romp in Gwinnett: Gwinnett won 15-0. The G-Braves jumped all over one of the best pitching prospects in baseball,  Kevin Gausman. He lasted only three innings, giving up 10 baserunners and 4 runs. Meanwhile, one of the Braves forgotten pitching prospects, Cody Martin, had a terrific start: 5.2IP, 2H, 0R, 1BB, 9SO. The G-Braves offense collected 21 hits, with every batter except Christian Bethancourt collecting multiple hits (CB was only 1-4). Edward Salcedo was 3-4 with a home run and 2 doubles.

Sip splits: Mississippi won then lost a double-header. Aaron Northcraft made his first start of the season, fresh off the DL: 3IP, 3H, 2R, 3BB, 3SO, 1WP. Decent effort for the first time out. His relief corps was solid and allowed the M-Braves to hold on for the comeback win. Lefty Ronan Pacheco delivered another scoreless inning, and has yet to surrender a run this season. RHP John Cornely pitched two scoreless inning, lowering his season ERA to 1.17. Second baseman Emerson Landoni had the walk-off hit in the extra innings to give Sip the game one victory.

The M-Braves didn’t do much hitting in game two, collecting only 3 hits. Starter Jason Hursh had a meh outing: 4IP, 4H, 4R, 2ER, 3BB, 3SO.

Lynchburg was postponed due to rain. They did have a few transactions though, as INF Eric Garcia was shipped down to Rome, and C Cory Brownsten was released. Brownsten was a 15th rounder in 2010, and only ever an organizational catcher, never a prospect.

Good pitching in Rome: Rome won. Lefty Chuck Buchanan put together another good start: 5IP, 5H, 2R, 0BB, 4SO. Lefty Yean Carlos Gil, who has been slow to develop after he burst onto the scene a few years ago, pitched great in relief: 3IP, 0H, 0R, 1BB, 3SO. In just over 9 innings this year, Gil has not allowed a run, and only 2 hits. Richie Tate had another good outing, picking up the save.

Posted in Daily Braves Lines | Comments Off

Braves Lines for Tuesday

Braves WON! Actually, they won, then lost, then WON with an exclamation point. That was an exciting game last night. If you missed it, then shame on you.

Uggla SLAM: There are a lot of great videos floating around which chronicle the reaction of a handful of Phillies fans to Uggla’s 9th inning grand slam last night. This one at Deadspin is the best. Enjoy.

Luis the Vulture: It was a rough night for Luis Avilan, and yet somehow he remained in to finish the entire inning (I’m looking at you Fredi). He also picked up his league leading 3rd win of the season… vulture style. I can’t remember a game when a reliever, even a closer, was left in the game in the late innings with a lead to surrender that many runs. Here is an interesting tweet along those lines:

Kimbrel’s velocity: Craig Kimbrel did’t pitch in the a save situation last night, though that is apparently nothing to worry about, just some shoulder soreness. In watching Kimbrel this season I have noticed that his velocity isn’t that 98-99 mph we’re used to; it is more in the 95-96 mph range. I had the same concern about his velocity last April. So I did some research, and had friend-of-the-blog @BarrettSelf put together this infographic that we can all reference from time to time early in the season to reassure ourselves that all will be fine with Kimmy:

ckimbrel-velo-chart

Upton of the week: Justin Upton was named National League Player of the Week for the work he did against the Mets and (mainly) the Nats last week. Upton was the hottest hitter in baseball last week, leading everyone with a .591 batting average (13-for-22), 1.227 slugging percentage, .654 on-base percentage and 27 total bases. He tied for the most home runs last week with Adrian Gonzalez. Below is a heat map of that performance courtesy of ESPN.

jupton-heatmap-april-poty

Frenchy pranked: If you haven’t seen the video of the month-long prank that Jeff Francoeur’s teammates pulled on him, then go here and watch it immediately.

Minor League transactions: There are a few transactions to catch everyone up on. Nothing major, just the usual Braves organization movement and injury swapping. RHP Lay Batista to the DL with right triceps strain, RHP Aaron Northcraft and SS Elmer Reyes activated for Mississippi. INF Barrett Kleinknecht from Mississippi to Lynchburg. LHP Matt Marksberry to the DL with a hamstring injury, RHP Alex Wilson promoted from extended spring training to Lynchburg.

Unearned in Buford: Gwinnett won. Catcher Christian Bethancourt picked up some much-needed hits with a 2-for-4 performance. Meanwhile Ernesto Mejia continued his hitting ways with a 2-for-3 performance and a HBP; he is now hitting .325 on the season. Four of the five G-Braves runs were unearned thanks to 3 opponents’ errors.

Mississippi was rained out.

Cats win in extras: Lynchburg won. Kyle Wren came through once again late in the game to drive in the winning run, this time with a sac fly in the top of the 12th inning. Starting pitcher Lucas Sims got bit by the home run ball, otherwise it was a solid start: 6IP, 3H, 3R, 1BB, 4SO, 2HR. First baseman Edison Sanchez was 3-for-5 with a double; it was his 7th straight game with a hit, his 4th straight multi-hit game.

Rome has fallen: Rome lost. It wasn’t pretty for the R-Braves. Not pretty at all. They lost 17-0, while only getting 4 hits all night on offense. Starting pitcher Francois Lafreniere had a night to forget: 2.1IP, 7H, 10R, 8ER, 1BB, 0SO, 1HBP.

Posted in Daily Braves Lines | Comments Off

Braves Prospect Stock Watch

I’ve been slacking the past few days, and I’m slacking again today with no “daily lines” post. I will most likely get at it tomorrow.

I have been busy though, as my latest piece on Bleacher Report takes a look at the Braves top 10 prospects. It will be a recurring weekly piece examining whether the prospects’ “stock” is up or down. Check it out here.

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off

Braves lines from Wednesday

Tonight is Hank Aaron bobblehead night at Turner Field.

Tonight is Hank Aaron bobblehead night at Turner Field.

Braves WON! And the best starting pitching rotation in baseball got better. Ervin Santana was amazing last night. Maybe something magical happens when a pitcher puts on a Braves uniform; it certainly seems that way. Click here to read my recap of Santana’s debut on Bleacher Report.

A top of the order to believe in: The top three guys in the Braves batting order–Jason Heyward, Andrelton Simmons and Freddie Freeman–were a combined 7-for-12 last night, each with at least two hits. Apparently BJ was just getting the night off, but when he returns to the lineup it would be criminal for Fredi Gonzalez to put him back in the two-hole. Until BJ has a month of solid hitting, he needs to be in the bottom third of the lineup.

Bombs bursting in air: Apparently some pyrotechnics during last night’s game caught the American Flag on fire. Oops.

Let’s light this place up like ’93: The day the Braves traded for Fred McGriff in 1993, the Atlanta Fulton County press box caught on fire.

That’s not the only thing this year apparently has in common with ’93.

Gosselin and Bethancourt bring them back: Gwinnett won. Eighth inning run-scoring singles by Christian Bethancourt and Phil Gosselin propelled the G-Braves to a comeback victory. For Bethancourt his 3-for-4 game was a much needed boost to a slow start to the season. For Gosselin it was a 2-for-4 game that added to his already hot start. The little second baseman has hit safely in every game and is 10-for-20 on the season. Edward Salcedo also had a good game, going 3-for-4. Reliever Juan Jaime picked up the save, his second of the season. In 3 games Jaime has allowed just 1 hit. In each of the three games he has walked 1 and struck out 2–a pretty decent start to the year.

Beato to Triple-A: To make room for Santana on the Braves roster, the team optioned newly acquired reliever Pedro Beato to Gwinnett. This actually speaks volumes for the confidence the team has in Gus Schlosser and Ian Thomas, as they remain in Atlanta.

Stifled in Sip: Mississippi lost. The M-Braves offense was held at bey by the rehabbing Taijuan Walker, who struck out 10 in 5 innings. Once he departed the game the Mississippi offense was able to break through with a 2-run home run from 1B Seth Loman, but that was all the offense they could find. M-Braves announcer Kyle Tait has the skinny on an apparent injury to their starting pitcher:

The relief after that was solid. John Cornely threw 2 innings of scoreless ball with a walk and 3 strikeouts. Ronan Pacheco struck out 2 in a spotless frame.

Cats crush P-Nats: Lynchburg won. It’s always good when a Braves team beats a Nationals team. The Hillcats jumped out to an early lead in the first inning on a 2-run Josh Elander home run. The Cats scored 9 runs in the game, taking maximum advantage of every scoring opportunity. Levi Hyams also added a homer in the 5th. The Braves didn’t need much offense with Lucas Sims on the mound. He made a brilliant start: 5IP, 2H, 1R, 0BB, 4SO, 1WP, 1HR.

Rome holds on for the win: Rome won. Starting pitcher Chuck Buchanan had another great start: 5IP, 2H, 2R, 0ER, 1BB, 9SO, 1HBP. That’s two outstanding starts in a row to begin the season. The trio of Brady Feigl, Michael Swanner, and Richie Tate pitched scoreless relief, with Tate picking up his first save of the season. At the plate the Victors–Caratini and Reyes–put the Braves on top in the 5th inning.

Lafreniere the Quebecois: Rome Braves pitcher Frank Lafreniere is one of only a handful of French-Canadian ballplayers in professional baseball. Read more here.

Avast: Did you know that the Civil War cannons in Grant Park will be used to demolish Turner Field? Maybe look out.

Posted in Daily Braves Lines | Comments Off

Braves lines from Opening Day

Braves lost… it was a horrid game. The Braves did some hitting, but it was quite untimely. In 5 different innings they got their first baserunner after there were two outs. After those hits they couldn’t manage to get that baserunner in. The 9th inning was exciting, but again, they couldn’t do any 2-out hitting with runners in scoring position.

  • Braves have the lowest runs per game in MLB at 2.14.
  • They are just 1-for-23 with 2-outs and runners in scoring position, tied for worst in Majors with the Astros.
  • With runners in scoring position and any number of outs, they are hitting just 7-for-44 (.159) with no home runs, third worst in the Majors.
  • Their Triple-A first baseman Ernesto Mejia has more home runs (5) than the entire Atlanta Braves roster (4).

Hitting, it’s a problem right now.

Good celebration of Hank: It was a touching ceremony last night, well done by the Braves. I got a little welled up when Hank came to the mic. I’m glad I was there. Here are some of my tweets from last night.

Gavin Floyd (top) and Mike Minor (bottom) throw during their rehab starts for the Gwinnett Braves last night. (Photo by CB Wilkins)

Gavin Floyd (top) and Mike Minor (bottom) throw during their rehab starts for the Gwinnett Braves last night. (Photo by CB Wilkins)

Run support in AAA: Gwinnett won. Speaking of Ernesto Mejia, he hit his 5th homer last night in the 1st inning, and collected his first non home run hits of the season, going 3-for-5, a triple shy of the cycle. Gavin Floyd made a great rehab start: 4IP, 3H, 1R, 0BB, 2SO. Mike Minor followed him with a lesser effort: 2.1IP, 1H, 2R, 1ER, 3BB, 4SO, 1HBP. Floyd thew 60 pitches, Minor threw 65, so they essentially got in the same amount of work. Every batter in the G-Braves lineup hit safely. Phil Gosselin, who had a cup of coffee with Atlanta last season, went 4-for-5 with 2 doubles and a stolen base.

Floyd/Minor progress: In their first rehab start a week ago, Gavin Floyd and Mike Minor each threw about 40 pitches. Last night they each threw about 60 pitches. They will definitely make one more rehab, probably throwing about 80 pitches, then I would imagine there will be another rehab start for each after that.

Lynchburg won. Outfielder Josh Elander went 3-for-3 with 3 RBI and a walk. The top of the order duo of Jose Peraza and Kyle Wren were a combined 5-for-10 with 5 runs scored and 2 stolen bases. Every batter in their lineup hit safely as well.

Rome played a double header. They lost the first game, won the second game. OF Blake Brown collected 3 walks between the two games, showing more good signs of his game coming around. The team only had 2 hits in game-2, but scored 3 runs for the shutout win. Starting pitcher Francois Lafreniere had a terrific start: 6IP, 1H, 0R, 0BB, 6SO.

Top prospects per position: My latest article at Bleacher Report looks at the Braves top prospects at each position. Check it out here.

Posted in Daily Braves Lines | Comments Off

Braves lines for the Home Opener

aaron715siOn April 8th, 1974, Hank Aaron took an Al Downing pitch over the outfield wall in the fourth inning to break Babe Ruth’s career home run record. Tonight, in addition to the Braves home opener, the team will celebrate the 40th anniversary of that home run.

Dodgers announcer Vin Scully was announcing the game for LA, and had this to say on air:

“What a marvelous moment for baseball; what a marvelous moment for Atlanta and the state of Georgia; what a marvelous moment for the country and the world. A black man is getting a standing ovation in the Deep South for breaking a record of an all-time baseball idol. And it is a great moment for all of us, and particularly for Henry Aaron. … And for the first time in a long time, that poker face in Aaron shows the tremendous strain and relief of what it must have been like to live with for the past several months.”

Ranking correction: I was a bit dismayed when the Braves opened the year ranked 12th on ESPN’s Power Rankings. Luckily the brain trust at the World Wide Leader have corrected their algorithm for week 2, and the Braves find themselves ranked 4th. Sounds about right (actually, maybe too optimistic).

Rocker related reading: I usually don’t indulge in John Rocker stories — they’re a sideshow at this point. But this piece is a good recounting of the original SI article from the reporter who wrote that article.

Hanson: The White Sox signed Tommy Hanson to a minor league contract.

Holbert the record holder: M-Braves manager Aaron Holbert holds a modern era record for most days between his first and second major league game played. Nice coordination between the blog Tomahawk Take and M-Braves broadcaster Kyle Tait for tracking this down… read more here.

Double header split is Sip: Mississippi won then lost. It should be safe to say that J.R. Graham is back from his shoulder woes last season, and that he should probably be starting. This was his line from game-1: 5IP, 0H, 0R, 1BB, 3SO. Pretty gosh darn dominating. Reliever Ryne Harper allowed a weak Texas-Leaguer to drop in for the only hit of the game that the M-Braves pitching staff gave up.

In game-2 the M-Braves couldn’t muster any offense, only scoring 1 run on 3 hits… while striking out 13 times.

Rained out: The Gwinnett Braves and Rome Braves games were both rained out. Lynchburg was off. Gavin Floyd makes his second rehab start tonight for Gwinnett.

POTW: G-Braves first baseman Ernesto Mejia was named the International League player of the week for the first week of the season. While Ernesto only hit .308 (4-for-13), all four of his hits were home runs. He is now Gwinnett’s all-time home run leader, with 55.

aaron-715-patch

Posted in Daily Braves Lines | Comments Off

Braves lines from Sunday

Braves lost a close one. It was another great pitching performance from Alex Wood, only 4 hits allowed and no walks; all he needed was a little more offense. It was arguably better than his first start, in which he walked 3 and gave up 5 hits. The offense needs to get to work.

Medic! Jason Heyward is apparently fighting neck spasms and headaches as a results of those spasms:

Heyward was bothered by neck spasms that led to the splitting headache he felt after fouling a pitch during the first inning of Saturday night’s game against the Nationals. Coincidentally, he dealt with the same discomfort after he fouled a pitch during the first inning of a game played at Nationals Park on Aug. 6.

He is doing nothing to dispel the notion that despite being a talented player he is injury prone. Since homering in the 5th inning of the April 1st game in Milwaukee, Heyward has gone hitless in 17 at-bats. Perhaps a little home cooking in Atlanta for the next week will be just what the doctor ordered.

The L Word: Unlike Saturday, when each team at every level in the Braves organization won, Sunday every team that played lost.

Not much O for the G-Braves: Gwinnett lost. Reliever Luis Vazquez doesn’t seem to be panning out like the Braves had hoped. After a solo homer in his first game, he got knocked around considerably in his second game: 1IP, 4H, 4R, 1BB, 2SO, 1WP. On the offensive side, not much happened — only 5 hits and a run. The pitcher Atlanta acquired during spring training, Zach Stewart, makes his Atlanta debut today.

M-Braves rained out. Double-header scheduled for today.

No comeback in the Cats today: Lynchburg lost. Early relief woes in the Burg blew the lead and the Cats didn’t have enough offense left in the tank to come back. Will Skinner did hit his second home run of the year. Andrew Waszak makes his first start of the year on Tuesday.

Rome lost. Not much offense, not much pitching. OF Blake Brown was 1-for-3 with a double. It was his 3rd double of the season, and he’s had a hit in every game this season. It’s a better start for Brown this season; he had a horrible go of it last year at Rome, and it didn’t get much better when he was demoted to Danville. He’s got a lot of talent, but he’s a raw player. Jared Dettmann had a good start: 5IP, 5H, 3R, 2ER, 1BB, 3SO, pitching into the 6th, where the bullpen coughed up the lead. Dettmann quietly had a great season last year at Danville after getting drafted out of a Minnesota JuCo in the 17th round.

Posted in Daily Braves Lines | Comments Off

Braves lines from Saturday

Braves WON! It’s an amazing game when both Uptons and Dan Uggla get hits. Naturally with that contribution the Braves eviscerated Strasburg. It was good to see Julio Teheran pitch so well and get the win despite not having his best stuff. He still seems unable to control his slider consistently, though he threw his slider less in this start as opposed to his first start. He relied much more on his fastball in yesterday’s start.

Last week in his Opening Day start Julio threw 39 fastballs and 28 sliders. Yesterday he threw 84 fastballs and 20 sliders. He also cut back on his number of changeups and curve balls thrown from his first to his second start. His reliance on his fastball increased as the game went on, and that pitch alone was pretty much unhittable in the final inning he pitched — 12 of 14 pitches thrown in the 7th inning were fastballs. Curiously these were not wicked fast fastballs, but well controlled well placed pitches ranging from 88 to 92 mph — an average of about 2 mph slower than his first start. Our little Julio is wising up to control over velocity.

MVFree: Freddie Freeman was on base all 5 times to the plate last night — single, double, 3 walks. This season he has now made it on base in 13 of his 21 trips to the plate. That’s a pretty good start to the season.

Double Upton: B.J. and Justin had just 2 combined hits (1 each) coming into Saturday’s game. They each had 2 hits on Saturday.

Braves own Stras like none other: The Braves are the only major league team that Stephen Strasburg has a losing record (3-and-5) against (in more than 3 games started).

Wood’s got this: As you root for the Braves to sweep the Nats today, keep in mind that today’s starter Alex Wood has a 0.82 ERA in 2 starts against the Nats in his career.

HD-Rod: Gwinnett won. Hector Daniel Rodriguez had a terrific start: 5IP, 2H, 1R, 1BB, 9SO. The bullpen trio of Wirfin Obispo, Ryan Buchter, and Juan Jaime threw 4 innings of scoreless relief, with Jaime picking up the save. Buchter walked 2 in 1.1 innings for those keeping track of his control issues. Ernesto Mejia hit his 4th home run, but journeyman Mark Hamilton hit the decisive 3-run blast. Edward Salcedo picked up a golden sombrero with 4 strikeouts.

The M-Braves gave away this Andrelton Simmons bobblehead last night.

The M-Braves gave away this Andrelton Simmons bobblehead last night.

Good pitching in Sip: Mississippi won. Williams Perez got things off on the right foot with a solid double-A debut: 4IP, 2H, 1R, 2BB, 4SO, 1WP. He keeps sneaking up on me, though I don’t think he’s a prospect just yet. After some unimpressive years in rookie ball he raced through the system last year from Rome to Lynchburg. The Mississippi relief corps was strong and Shae Simmons closed it out for his first save of the year. The journeymen hitters were the starts on the offensive side again. Seth Loman was 2-for-4 with a HR, and SS Gustavo Nunez was 3-for-4. J.R. Graham on the mound today.

A walk-off Wren: Lynchburg won. The comeback Cats are at it again. They had 7 walk-offs last year, and two already this season. First of all, in the top half of the 9th, Hillcats closer Nate Hyatt struck out the first 2 batters, but a double and single/error later he had blown the save. Never fear, the top-of-the-order duo of Jose Peraza and Kyle Wren got this. Peraza singled with one out in the bottom of the 9th, then stole second. Kyle Wren then delivered a bouncer up the middle for the walk-off win. On the mound Wes Parsons had a decent start: 4.1IP, 4H, 2R, 2BB, 4SO. Favorite on the blog, Eric Pfisterer, made his season debut and was Pfabulous: 3.2IP, 2H, 0R, 0BB, 5SO, 1WP. He’s picked up right where he left off last year — hard to hit, walk averse, lots of Ks.

Offense found: Rome won. The R-Braves finally found their hitting shoes, and topped off a good offensive night with a 3-run 9th inning comeback win. It was a team effort, but 1B Jacob Schrader had the go-ahead 2-run double. He was a 27th-rounder last year out of the University of Tampa, who struggled in his pro debut last season at Danville. Rome collected 17 hits in the game, after having only 8 hits in their first two games. Victor Caratini and Joey Meneses each had a home run, and OF prospect Victor Reyes was 4-for-5. The starting pitching was not so hot. Carlos Salazar was very wild: 2IP, 3H, 5R, 7BB, 3SO, 2WP — seven walks! His replacement, Michael Flores, was a bit better: 4IP, 4H, 3R, 0BB, 3SO, with all the damage coming on a 3-run home run allowed. Richie Tate pitched well in relief: 2IP, 1H, 0R, 0BB, 2SO.

 

Posted in Daily Braves Lines | Comments Off

Braves Lines from Friday

Braves WON! and dealt the Nats their first loss of the season. Atlanta’s 13-and-6 head-to-head record last year against Washington was a big reason the Braves won the NL East. They are off to a good start in that department again this year.

Hale yes! This so-called patchwork starting rotation received another dominant performance from its fourth starter yesterday. David Hale put up this impressive opening line: 5IP, 5H, 0R, 2BB, 4SO. He was bailed out by a lot of sloppy Nats baserunning, but overall it was an effort you would take from him every time out… and so far in the Majors that’s the kind of start he’s given the Braves every time out.

Schultz’s Short Takes… kind of like gondeee’s lines, but with more CAPS LOCK. Imitation –> flattery, thank you Schultzy, it’s an honor.

A shaky Santana? Gwinnett won. With the third starting pitcher rehab start in the past two days (Minor and Floyd on Thursday), Ervin Santana ran into some rough patches. His line looked like this: 5.1IP, 8H, 6R, 5ER, 4BB, 3SO, 1HR, 1WP. That looks bad, but like Minor and Floyd the day before, it wasn’t quite as bad as it looks in the box score. The first run came on a solo home run, but most of the other hits were dinks and dunks and well placed bunts. The 4 walks are troubling, but remember that this is a rehab start for Santana, and he may have been working on some things. I’m being optimistic about it. The Caramel Bear, Ernesto Mejia, slugged two homers — he now has 3 in 2 games. Everyone else in the G-Braves starting lineup hit safely, including Joe Terdoslavich (3-for-5), Tommy La Stella (2-for-4, BB), and Edward Salcedo with a 2-run home run. Daniel Rodriguez takes hill today.

Bullpen collapse in Sip: Mississippi lost. In the season preview I praised the strong pen of Mississippi, but last night they fell apart, to the man. Carlos Perez, James Hoyt, and Ryne Harper all surrendered runs in the final two innings to cough up the lead. Jason Hursh deserved better with a good start: 4IP, 2H, 1R, 2BB, 1SO, he threw 70 pitchers, and it looks like the organization is keeping him on a strict pitch count like they did last year. Hursh also picked up his first hit as a professional ballplayer in what was his first ever at-bat as a pro. Journeyman minor league slugger Seth Loman was 2-for-4, as was journeyman minor league shortstop Gustavo Nunez. Williams Perez takes the mound today against former M-Braves pitcher Mike Lee.

First to a W: Hillcats won… and with that win have the honor of being the first Braves minor league team with a W this season, and they did it in comeback then walkoff fashion. With the team down a run in the 9th, the GM’s son Kyle Wren singled in the game-tying run from second with two outs. In the 10th, shortstop Daniel Castro hit the first pitch he saw for a two-out walkoff single to score the runner from second. Castro was 3-for-3 on the day. He played half a season for Lynchburg last year after returning from an assignment in the Mexican League. He’s got a good batting eye and a little bit of pop in a small frame, and might be worth keeping an eye on. Mauricio Cabrera started for the Cats and pitched good: 4IP, 4H, 3R, 1ER, 1BB, 5SO, 1WP. The third member of the “big three,” Wes Parsons, make his first start of the season today.

Blown in the 9th: Rome lost. Lefty Chuck Buchanan pitched a whale of a game: 5IP, 3H, 0R, 2BB, 5SO. He’s an 18th-round pick from last year’s draft, and was a 5th year senior reliever from Cal State Bakersfield. He only threw a few innings for Danville last year, so he’s new to me. As an experienced college pitcher he should be doing well at Rome, but if he keeps this up he could enter prospect status. After Blake Brown doubled in the game’s first run in the 8th, reliever Tyler Brosius allowed a couple of baserunners in his second inning of work before Race Parmenter (another good name) in relief of Brosius gave up a go-ahead double. Nothing happening on the offensive side of the ball for the second day in a row.

Posted in Daily Braves Lines | Comments Off