Major League Braves WON!…
Fireworks: It may have been fireworks night last night at Turner Field, but today and more likely tomorrow could see some unwanted fireworks from each team. Braves pitchers hit Bryce Harper twice last night — each to resounding applause from the crowd. From the Braves perspective they are trying to pitch Harper high and inside, and each HBP was a case of the spotty command from Wood and Avilan. From the Nats perspective the Braves have been head-hunting Harper since the last series in Washington and the only way to get them to stop is to retaliate. The Nats perspective I took there is extreme, but I fear that may be where their mindset is right now.
The retaliation may not come tonight, but instead come on Sunday when Julio Teheran takes the mound. Teheran is the guy who hit Harper in Washington the at-bat after Harper had hit a home run off of him… and admired that home run a bit too much. I really hope cooler heads prevail, as I’d rather not risk any injury from a brawl, or missed games because of suspensions. As I said though, I fear the Nats probably think they have to retaliate.
Rev out for year: The fallout from Wednesday’s collision between Jason Heyward and Tyler Pastornicky is that Rev has a torn ACL which will require season ending surgery. I hate it for Pastornicky, as he was going to get a couple of weeks of solid playing time filling in for Uggla at second base; giving him a great chance to prove his worth and possibly earn a spot on the postseason roster.
Gosselin up: To fill in for Pastornicky the Braves called up Phil Gosselin from triple-A. The Braves chose not to call up the better hitter in Tommy La Stella (from double-A), and went instead with the above average defense and defensive flexibility of Gosselin. Whereas La Stella is pretty much limited to second base, Gosselin has played all around the infield and the outfield. His bat is nothing special as he’s primarily a slap-and-gap hitter. The line on him since he was drafted is that he’s undersized, undertooled, and underqualified for professional baseball, but he brings constant effort and a tireless work ethic to the park every day. I think of him as an easy to root for Pete Orr type player.
Minor League Braves scores…
Leonard needs to sacrifice a chicken: Gwinnett lost 5-4. Third baseman Joe Leonard had gone 247 chances this season with just 1 error. On Thursday night he committed 2 errors which helped the opponent score a decisive unearned run; and then last night Leonard committed 3 errors which led to the opponent scoring the tying and then the winning runs. Hey, defense can slump too, but it usually doesn’t happen to the sure-handed Leonard, who won the minor league Gold Glove at third base last season. Gwinnett pitchers didn’t help their cause by issuing 10 walks in the game.
Have a game Michael Lee: Mississippi won 5-1. The M-Braves ruined the Reds top pitching prospect Robert Stephenson’s first double-A start. He allowed just 3 baserunners in the first 6 innings, but walked 2 to start the 7th, and the M-Braves pounced on his relief. Mississippi starter Michael Lee pitched a great game himself: 7IP, 6H, 1R, 1BB, 5SO. He was also 2-for-2 with a walk at the plate. The Braves plucked Lee out of a short stint with an independent league team after he was released from the Boston organization, where he had played since being drafted in the 8th round in 2008. He’s kind of an organizational arm, but he has an amazingly low walk rate of just 1.33 BB/9 — second lowest in the Braves system.
Cats walk off: Lynchburg won 6-5. The Hillcats got an extra out in the 9th inning when a the inning was kept alive after a wild pitch on strike three to Kyle Kubitza. David Rohm then hit a line drive for the walk-off winner. Josh Elander and Trenton Moses each hit their second homers for Lynchburg. Starter Williams Perez finally returned to norm with a spotty outing: 6.1IP, 8H, 5R, 3ER, 3BB, 1SO, 1HR, 1HBP.
Parsons roughed up: Rome lost 8-4. Starter Wes Parsons had a rough outing: 5.1IP, 8H, 4R, 1BB, 3SO. His season ERA is still just 2.98, and we’ll watch how he bounces back in his next start.