The Atlanta Braves WON in 10 innings…
Taking it on the chin: Yesterday I talked about small moments in big games, well today the theme seems to be small moments that can affect an entire season… or a postseason. Jason Heyward was struck in the jaw during an at-bat in the 5th inning of yesterday’s game. He was taken to the hospital where it was determined the right side of his jaw was fractured in two places. Early estimates indicate that he could miss 4 to 6 weeks, and possibly the remainder of the season and postseason.
Muck the Fets: The Heyward injury comes exactly 4 weeks after Tim Hudson’s season was ended during the Braves last trip to New York. Both of these were freak injuries, but man does it ever sting to have a division rival take out two of your most important players. Not only will the Braves now miss the veteran experience of Huddy, but they will miss their best leadoff man and possibly their most important offensive player. The Braves were 17-and-4 with Heyward batting leadoff since the end of July. He was hitting .341/.414/.580 (.994 OPS) when batting first this season. No one else has come close to matching that production out the leadoff spot for Atlanta. So freak injuries or not… #MuckTheFets.
El-liot: The Braves (sort of) filled the hole of another player who was recently lost for the season (Pastornicky) when they claimed infielder Elliot Johnson off waivers from the Royals (which is weird, because it’s usually the other way around). He is a switch hitter, but with a career .580 OPS he might as well hold the bat backwards. For reference, Paul Janish is a career .571 OPS hitter… so the Braves essentially picked up another Paul Janish. Another theory is that the Braves are trying to corner the market on Johnsons, this being their third one. With Heyward going on the DL today, that might spare Phil Gosselin from being sent down, unless the Braves want to replace Gosselin with a bat that has more pop… Ernesto? After all, one ex-Royal deserves another.
— Elliot Johnson (@ElliotJohnson9) August 22, 2013
Number one with Wood: Lost in the Heyward injury and the Chris Johnson homer in extras yesterday was yet another great start from rookie Alex Wood: 6IP, 6H, 1R, 2BB, 4SO, 1HR. He might just be the Braves best starting pitcher right now. Among Braves starters he has the lowest ERA (2.52), lowest FIP (2.57), lowest xFIP (3.11), lowest HR rate (0.47 HR/9), highest strikeout rate (9.31 K/9), and already more fWAR (1.1) in just 7 starts that Paul Maholm has (0.6) in 20 starts.
Braves minor league scores…
Mississippi lost 5-0. Gus Schlosser had a rough one: 2.1IP, 8H, 4R, 3BB, 1SO. Ronan Pacheco and Juan Jaime pitched 3.2 innings of terrific relief.
Cats sweep double-header: Lynchburg won 5-3 and 5-4. Elmer Reyes stayed hot with a 3-for-4 line in game-1 with 2 doubles. Williams Perez picked up his 6th win in 8 starts for Lynchburg: 5IP, 6H, 3R, 1BB, 5SO, 1HR. Kyle Kubitza came up big in game-2 with a final inning, final at-bat go-ahead 2-run home run. That was the Cats’ 8th consecutive win, and their magic number to secure a playoff spot is 8.
Sims brilliant again: Rome won 6-2. Lucas Sims isn’t letting his foot off the gas as the season draws to a close: 5IP, 2H, 1R, 3BB, 7SO, 1HBP. The kid is 19, in his first full season of professional baseball, with 10 wins and a 2.78 ERA. That’s ridiculous.