I’ll take a dozen, thank you: The winning streak is at 12 games. The thing that jumps out at me about this streak is how many close games there have been. There were no saves in the Rockies series when Atlanta outscored Colorado 40-to-13. But every other game during the streak has had a save situation — 7 converted by Kimbrel, 1 by Walden. In those 8 other non-Rockies games the Braves have only outscored their opponents 31-to-15. This Braves team feasts on bad or mediocre pitching, but is still able to get key hits when they face good pitching. The Braves pitching is what keeps them in these games. The entire pitching staff is the star, I can’t remember a more balanced pitching staff or one this deep in the past 10 years.
Choice words: Things got a bit chippy in the fifth inning last night as Julio Teheran plunked Bryce Harper, which Bryce thought was in response to the home run he had hit two innings earlier. Brian McCann was the one who had to be restrained, as he looked like he wanted to introduce Harper to Jack Johnson and Tom O’Leary. In the end the benches cleared, but only some words (perhaps even choice words) were exchanged. That’s apparently how Bry’ rolls:
“It’s part of the game, like I said,” Harper said. “If I walk off on somebody and he wants to drill me, I’ll let him drill me and I’ll stand on first base and say some choice words and get over it.”
Broment: Freddie Freeman and Matt Harvey share a Twitter broment, check it out here.
Hale good, hitters bad: Gwinnett lost. Starter David Hale had another good start: 6IP, 6H, 2R, 1BB, 6SO, 1HBP, but got no run support as the G-Braves were shutout. Jordan Schafer continued his less-than-encouraging rehab assignment with an 0-for-4 night, and is now 0-for-his-last-17. Somebody broke Schafer!
La Stella’s streak ends: Mississippi lost. Tommy La Stella’s M-Braves record-setting hitting streak came to end at 23 games as he went 0-for-4. But Mycal Jones is right there to pick up the slack, as he extended his hitting streak to 15 games. The M-Braves out-hit their opponent 10-to-3, but were outscored 2-to-1. Starter Ian Thomas pitched good enough for the win: 5.1IP, 3H, 2R, 3BB, 7SO. Newly promoted reliever Shae Simmons made a successful double-A debut: 1IP, 0H, 0R, 1BB, 2SO.
Cats find offense: Hillcats won. After getting shutout for two consecutive games, Lynchburg found some hits (14) and finally scored some runs (6). Starter Williams Perez had his roughest outing since his promotion, but kept his team in the game and got the win: 7IP, 10H, 4R, 0BB, 6SO, 1WP.
Castro back: The Hillcats added infielder Daniel Castro to their roster from the Mexican League. He is a 20-year-old whom the Braves signed as an international free agent three years ago. After a year and half in the Dominican League he was transferred to a Mexican League team. He is from Mexico, so I imagine there were likely problems getting him a visa to play in the US, so the Braves had him play in a more advanced league in Mexico rather than staying in the Dominican.
Rome lost in extras: Mauricio Cabrera had a good start: 5IP, 2H, 1R, 3BB, 4SO, 1WP. Eric Pfisterer also pitched well in relief: 3IP, 1H, 1R, 0ER, 0BB, 4SO. Pfisterer now has a 1.00 ERA, a .189 average against, and 3BB to 33SO in 27IP. Legit! Gerald Laird is supposed to start a rehab assignment with Rome today.
Kimbrel struggles: As good as Craig Kimbrel has been, his brother Matt Kimbrel has entered serious struggle-mode at Danville. He gave up 6 runs in less than an inning last night, and now has a 21.64 ERA in his last 6 games (26ER in 10.2IP). Hopefully he’s just working on stuff and he’ll get it figured out. When I saw him last month his stuff was good (fastball and curve), but his control was less than desirable.
Gilmartin rehabbing: I totally missed that Sean Gilmartin is in the GCL (Orlando) on a rehab assignment. Things seem to be going well in 3 rehab starts: 9IP, 1H, 0R, 0BB, 11SO. I’ll say he’s ahead of those rookie-ball hitters. We should see him returned to Gwinnett pretty soon.