Braves lost then WON over the weekend. The streak may have come to an end, but the Braves won the series and proved that Saturday’s shutout loss was the fluke (even though it was the 12th time the Braves have been shutout this season, so maybe not all that flukish).
Wounded roll-call: We’ve had to talk about injuries too much this season. The latest round are the nagging kind. Justin Upton exited yesterday’s game with a left hamstring cramp. It’s not considered serious, but it shows that Kris Medlen was slacking on his duties as self-designated JUpton hydration coach. Brian McCann sat out for the second game in a row with a sore right knee — luckily the Braves have Gattis to fill in so the offense doesn’t miss a beat. Paul Maholm is supposed to begin a rehab assignment within the next week. Meanwhile Gerald Laird and Jordan Schafer returned over the weekend, with Todd Cunningham and Jose Constanza going down to triple-A. Laird is good at quotes, at least:
“It’s one of those things where baseball players are superstitious, and I was like, ‘Dude, I don’t even know if I want to come back until we lose,'” Laird said. “I told [outfielder Jordan] Schafer that he came back and ruined the streak, so I’m a good teammate and took an extra day.”
Who didn’t have fun during the streak?: The answer is, Dan Uggla. Since the beginning of the streak through last night Uggla hit .088 (5-for-57) with 21 strikeouts. It would be nice to have Tyler Pastornicky up with the team to spell Uggla every once in a while. The only guy who could play second base now is Paul Janish — and he is hitless on the season. This is also where the team is really missing Ramiro Pena, out for the season.
Spahn 300: Rowland’s Office reminds us that last night was the 52nd anniversary of Warren Spahn’s 300th win.
Gwinnett lost both of their games this weekend. I was at the Saturday game where Cody Martin had the ugliest line of his season: 5IP, 12H, 9R, 8ER, 2BB, 3SO, 1HR, 1WP. Martin was not sharp, but he was also not as bad as that line looks. I’m not exaggerating when I say that there were at least 5 plays that were completely bungled by the G-Braves defense — it was ugly. I like going to Gwinnett to watch games, but man! that team is not good.
Sip wins 2 of 3: Mississippi won two of the three games they played this weekend, splitting the double-header on Saturday. Ian Thomas had an amazing start yesterday: 7IP, 2H, 0R, 0BB, 9SO, 1WP, and Christian Bethancourt had a perfect day: 4-for-4 with 2 HR and 3 RBI. That gives Bethancourt a Mississippi record-tying on-base streak of 39 games. During that stretch he is hitting .333/.367/.587 with 9 home runs and 11 doubles. Whether he would ever hit for power has been the question asked about Bethancourt for some time now, but he seems to have finally found his power stroke, already doubling his single-season home run total. If McCann leaves via free agency next year, Bethancourt and Gattis could form an interesting catching tandem (with Laird their to mentor them).
Burg wins 2: The Hillcats won both games this weekend. Williams Perez was again terrific yesterday: 7IP, 6H, 2R, 2BB, 5SO. Shortstop Elmer Reyes was 2-for-4 in both games and is quietly having a good season, and has been hitting really well in his past 24 games: .325/.389/.488. After a great year at Danville in 2010 Reyes slipped off the prospect radar, due to poor play and other shortstops like Simmons and Peraza stealing the middle infield spotlight. He’s a very slight-built Belliard-esque shortstop, but he could have some value down the line.
Gilmartin rehabs for Rome: Sean Gilmartin moved his rehab from the GCL to Rome, and had a successful start: 5IP, 4H, 1R, 0BB, 5SO. He should return to Gwinnett soon. Eric Pfisterer had his first bad outing in a long time: 2IP, 2H, 2R, 0BB, 2SO, 1HR.
Gearrin finally disabled: Cory Gearrin was demoted to triple-A the first week of July, but then he just never pitched for Gwinnett, and no one knew why. Over the weekend the Braves finally placed him on the disabled list with right shoulder tendinitis. I wonder if we’ll see him again this year.
Minor movement: RHP Gary Moran was promoted from AA to AAA, with RHP Joe Bisenius going the other way. Moran hasn’t pitched that well this season, though he’s been often injured, but he had a good year at AA last season. We’ll have to see if the G-Braves use him in the rotation or the pen, so far he’s not listed among the upcoming starters for Gwinnett. RHP Jason Rice was released from Mississippi. I honestly didn’t know he was still with the Braves organization, as he had TJ last May. I’ve mentioned the good work of Mycal Jones a lot lately, but unfortunately he was placed on the Mississippi DL with a right ankle sprain.