Ho-hum: Win, win, win, the Braves just keep on winning. The thing I like lately about this team is that when they get a lead or get a rally going they keep their foot on the pedal and put opponents away. They also have so much power throughout the lineup that they can add on at any time. It’s fun to watch a winning team, especially one that’s doing so many things right on the field.
Act now on Mac: The Braves front office needs to try and sign Brian McCann now (if they haven’t tried already). No one should fault them for not re-signing him last off-season with the uncertainty surrounding his recovery from right shoulder surgery. But now that it’s clear he is as good as the old Mac, it’s time to wrap him up. He’ll be 30 years old next year, and a 5-year contract should not be out of the question. If the Braves let him go into the off-season as a free agent it will be extremely hard for Atlanta to compete with American League teams for his services. An AL team can allow McCann to DH once or twice a week and get more at-bats over the course of a season. And because of the DH, an AL team can offer McCann a contract beyond 5 years — probably something approaching 8 years. While the Braves could compete with an AL team in terms of dollars per year, they won’t be able to compete with the length of contract.
Poveda stumbles: Gwinnett lost. Omar Poveda had a bad outing: 6IP, 6H, 7R, 4ER, 3BB, 7SO. B.J. Upton made his final rehab start, going 1-for-5 with a double. Jordan Schafer will join Gwinnett today to begin his rehab assignment.
Mississippi breaks records: Mississippi won. Tommy La Stella went 2-for-4 with a HR, 2B, and 3 runs scored, hitting in his 20th consecutive game, which tied an M-Braves record for longest hitting streak. Shortstop Jamie Pedroza went 3-for-5 and tied an M-Braves record with 6 RBI in one game. Meanwhile Aaron Northcraft pitched great: 5IP, 4H, 1R, 1BB, 6SO.
No relief for Cats: Lynchburg lost. The Hillcats bullpen gave up 5 runs en route to a loss. John Cornely gave up a HR in his second consecutive outing. Starter A.J. Holland threw 3 innings of 1-hit ball, but was on a pitch count. Kyle Kubitza hit his 10th HR.
Hursh gets first win: Rome won. This year’s first-round pick Jason Hursh was finally allowed to pitch deep enough into a game to get a win: 5IP, 4H, 0R, 0BB, 1SO. He has been on strict pitch counts all year. Some might look at his line and be disappointed because Hursh didn’t strike out a lot of guys; after all, he’s supposed to be a strikeout pitcher. But the Braves know he can throw a fastball by people, what they’re trying to teach him and get him to do is to throw his off-speed pitches. Hursh had 9 ground-outs versus 3 fly-outs. He also induced 2 double plays. We can infer from these stats that Hursh was working on those off-speed pitches and having great success with them. How those off-speed pitches develop will determine how high the ceiling is for Hursh. If he can turn one of them into a legit out-pitch and add another plus complementary offering, then he could be a potential top-of-the-rotation starter — that’s the hope.