Braves WON! And the best starting pitching rotation in baseball got better. Ervin Santana was amazing last night. Maybe something magical happens when a pitcher puts on a Braves uniform; it certainly seems that way. Click here to read my recap of Santana’s debut on Bleacher Report.
A top of the order to believe in: The top three guys in the Braves batting order–Jason Heyward, Andrelton Simmons and Freddie Freeman–were a combined 7-for-12 last night, each with at least two hits. Apparently BJ was just getting the night off, but when he returns to the lineup it would be criminal for Fredi Gonzalez to put him back in the two-hole. Until BJ has a month of solid hitting, he needs to be in the bottom third of the lineup.
Bombs bursting in air: Apparently some pyrotechnics during last night’s game caught the American Flag on fire. Oops.
— Mike Conti (@MikeConti929) April 9, 2014
Let’s light this place up like ’93: The day the Braves traded for Fred McGriff in 1993, the Atlanta Fulton County press box caught on fire.
— gondeee (@gondeee) April 9, 2014
That’s not the only thing this year apparently has in common with ’93.
The #Braves have surrendered 13 runs, their lowest total through a season's first 7 games since the 1993 club allowed 8 runs & started 5-2
— Mark Bowman (@mlbbowman) April 9, 2014
— Joshua Ebbs (@JEbbs10) April 9, 2014
Not to mention, first baseman named Fred(die). RT @gondeee Bad offense, fire at stadium, it's 93 again!
— BW Smith (@bdubsmitty) April 9, 2014
Gosselin and Bethancourt bring them back: Gwinnett won. Eighth inning run-scoring singles by Christian Bethancourt and Phil Gosselin propelled the G-Braves to a comeback victory. For Bethancourt his 3-for-4 game was a much needed boost to a slow start to the season. For Gosselin it was a 2-for-4 game that added to his already hot start. The little second baseman has hit safely in every game and is 10-for-20 on the season. Edward Salcedo also had a good game, going 3-for-4. Reliever Juan Jaime picked up the save, his second of the season. In 3 games Jaime has allowed just 1 hit. In each of the three games he has walked 1 and struck out 2–a pretty decent start to the year.
Beato to Triple-A: To make room for Santana on the Braves roster, the team optioned newly acquired reliever Pedro Beato to Gwinnett. This actually speaks volumes for the confidence the team has in Gus Schlosser and Ian Thomas, as they remain in Atlanta.
Stifled in Sip: Mississippi lost. The M-Braves offense was held at bey by the rehabbing Taijuan Walker, who struck out 10 in 5 innings. Once he departed the game the Mississippi offense was able to break through with a 2-run home run from 1B Seth Loman, but that was all the offense they could find. M-Braves announcer Kyle Tait has the skinny on an apparent injury to their starting pitcher:
@MBraves starter Lay Batista exits in the 3rd. Hurt himself when lost grip on ball, had it roll off finger tips as he tried to throw a pitch
— Kyle Tait (@MBravesRadio) April 10, 2014
The relief after that was solid. John Cornely threw 2 innings of scoreless ball with a walk and 3 strikeouts. Ronan Pacheco struck out 2 in a spotless frame.
Cats crush P-Nats: Lynchburg won. It’s always good when a Braves team beats a Nationals team. The Hillcats jumped out to an early lead in the first inning on a 2-run Josh Elander home run. The Cats scored 9 runs in the game, taking maximum advantage of every scoring opportunity. Levi Hyams also added a homer in the 5th. The Braves didn’t need much offense with Lucas Sims on the mound. He made a brilliant start: 5IP, 2H, 1R, 0BB, 4SO, 1WP, 1HR.
Rome holds on for the win: Rome won. Starting pitcher Chuck Buchanan had another great start: 5IP, 2H, 2R, 0ER, 1BB, 9SO, 1HBP. That’s two outstanding starts in a row to begin the season. The trio of Brady Feigl, Michael Swanner, and Richie Tate pitched scoreless relief, with Tate picking up his first save of the season. At the plate the Victors–Caratini and Reyes–put the Braves on top in the 5th inning.
Lafreniere the Quebecois: Rome Braves pitcher Frank Lafreniere is one of only a handful of French-Canadian ballplayers in professional baseball. Read more here.
Avast: Did you know that the Civil War cannons in Grant Park will be used to demolish Turner Field? Maybe look out.