Sweeep: What a series by the Braves. After a lackluster road trip the boys returned home and swept the best team in baseball — take that haters! This was the Braves 8th series sweep of the season (all 3-game series).
A bullpen of three: The Braves used three relievers this entire series; Jordan Walden pitched games 1 and 3, Luis Avilan pitched games 2 and 3, and Craig Kimbrel picked up a save in all three games. Those seven relief innings included zero hits allowed, 1 walk, and 7 strikeouts. Dominant work… but eventually the other four guys in the pen are going to have to make it into a game. I imagine that after three straight days Craig Kimbrel might not be available tonight.
Kimmie better than Mo: Craig Kimbrel saved his 120th game last night in his 134th opportunity. That’s an 89.6% success rate, which is just a skosh better than Mariano Rivera’s 89.5. That makes Kimbrel 4th all-time in save percentage to Eric Gagne, John Smoltz, and Joe Nathan. Kimbrel also joined Smoltz as the only closers in Braves franchise history to have three 30-save seasons.
The Chris Johnson trade: I’m going to start referring to it as the Chris Johnson trade, which included Justin Upton. Another side effect of the good pitching this weekend was that Yadier Molina was held somewhat in check. That allowed a great hitting series from CJ (7-for-10) to propel him into the lead for the NL batting title — .338 to Yadi’s .334.
Beachy day: Brandon Beachy makes his return to the Major League mound tonight. His last start was June 16th of last year against the Orioles. At the time he was tied for the Major League lead in ERA (2.00) and led the Majors in opponents average (.171).
Gwinnett lost. Nothing of note happened for Gwinnett. Reliever Mark Lamm continues to bounce back from a rough outing last week. He threw a scoreless inning with two strikeouts.
Mississippi won. The M-Braves scored 12 runs while starter Aaron Northcraft had one of his better starts this year: 6IP, 3H, 1R, 0ER, 1BB, 4SO. Tommy La Stella extended his hitting streak to 16 games with a hit and 2 walks. Christian Bethancourt also has a streak going, having reached base in 26 straight games.
Rome won. Everyone in the Rome lineup got at least one hit; 6 guys got 2 or more hits… there was a lot of hitting (17 hits). Jason Hursh started the game and continued his shutout streak: 3.1IP, 2H, 0R, 1BB, 5SO.