Braves WON! Magic number now at Chipper.
Oso perfecto: Evan Gattis returned to the Major League Braves and promptly put the team on his shoulders, going 3-for-3 with a game-tying home run in the 7th inning. Gattis saw 7 pitches all night, he collected singles on the first 2 pitches he saw, then a 5-pitch at-bat resulted in a classic Oso Blanco home run toward the Bear Cave in left. That’s great to see, and I hope Fredi keeps Gattis in the lineup for a few games (or more). With Jordan Schafer seemingly still not right (he looked lame in his at-bat yesterday), Gattis is the best option for extra offense in the lineup. It would also be nice to see him finish the season strong. Not only because the hope is that he could carry that into the playoffs, but to erase any fears about his hot start being a flash-in-the-pan.
Happy Birthday Simba: Today is Andrelton’s 24th birthday, but he celebrated early last night with a 2-run game-winning jack. That was actually Simmons’ 13th home run, pretty good for a guy who wasn’t supposed to have much power. He’s been hitting really well lately. Since the beginning of the last Mets’ series in New York 14 games ago, Simba is hitting .327/.365/.592, with 5 doubles, a triple, and 2 home runs. Oh, and he’s still an other-worldly defender.
Raising Mendoza: Since the theme so far here seems to be guys that were struggling offensively turning it around, then we mustn’t forget B.J. Upton. Bossman went 2-for-4 last night, raising his average to .200 for the first time all season. He’s been on fire in the past 7 games: .440/.517/.640. We’ve seen these hot flashes before from BJ, but lately they’re starting to become more frequent. I’ve said it all season, and the point remains that BJ is another guy on this team who can win a postseason series for you at the plate. Now to get Dan Uggla going… have we tried sending him to an eye doctor?
Don’t forget the Meds: Oh, right. Kris Medlen was pretty great last night. He made a couple of mistake pitches to the top of the order in the 6th inning which resulted in a run, but other than that he was masterful — vintage 2012 Kris Medlen. His line last night: 7IP, 7H, 1R, 0BB, 9SO. Last night tied his season high in strikeouts, which also came against the Mets (back in May).
Minor trade: The Braves traded minor league catcher Matt Pagnozzi to the Astros for cash. Basically the Braves were done with Pagnozzi for the year, as the Gwinnett season ended this past weekend, and the Astros needed a catcher. Good news for Pagnozzi, as he finally gets some Major League this year.
Cats start playoffs tonight: The Lynchburg Hillcats will begin the first round of the Carolina League playoffs on the road tonight against the Potomac Nationals. Kyle Wren was left off the playoff roster, so his callup over the weekend was just a cup of Carolina League coffee. It was originally announced that Williams Perez would get the first start, but now it seems that the Hillcats will start RHP Greg Ross in game 1, LHP Ryan Hinson in game 2, and RHP Jarett Miller in game 3 (if needed). Go Cats!