Our pitchers pitched, the hitters hit and everything was right with the world today as the Braves ruined Jo-Jo Reyes’ return to Atlanta by whipping the Jays 5-1.
As you will all know by now Brandon Beachy’s return today was spectacular as he set a career mark for strike outs with 11 in his six innings of work. Okay it’s a short career so far but watching him today I was reminded of a young Tom Glavine.
His control was sharp and he had absolute confidence in his stuff and his pitch selection. His only mistake was to Jose Bautista who launched it for his 22nd home run of the year. Next time around Beachy pitched from the stretch against Bautista and got him to pop up. It was obviously something he’d talked about because after the out Chipper Jones and Beachy were smiling as if it had all come together. Scott Linebrink had a nice inning in the seventh but Jonny Venter’s eighth was a little choppy as he loaded the bases before reaching back to get a little extra and end the inning. Craig Kimbrel had a flawless ninth so the Braves could get packed for their trip to the coast a little early.
Braves hitter managed only seven hits and two walks but it was enough against a deflated Jays’ offense. Brian McCann hit his obligatory home run to smack them down after Bautista’s homer had brought the Jays within one and Brooks Conrad hit another late inning pinch hit homer though the umpires needed a replay to confirm it. Jordan Schafer who followed Conrad, hit a ball in almost the exact spot as Conrad’s drive only to be robbed when Bautista’s well timed leap robber him of a homer.
The big blast of the day came off the bat of a slowly awakening Dan Uggla. It notable for a couple of reasons. First of all it was off of a lefty and this season has seen lefty hurlers chew Uggla up. Secondly it was not a hanger or a badly positioned pitch but a 92mph sinker. It’s true he struck out twice after that but the nature of the pitch and the swing he put on it indicate he’s about ready to go on a tear; pitcher’s won’t like him when he’s on a tear. There was more good news surrounding our walking wounded staff and the minor league support.
After a throwing session including long toss and 25 off of flat ground Tommy Hanson thinks he’ll be ready to start on Tuesday in Seattle. Kris Medlen threw off the mound Wednesday for the first time since the scar tissue broke loose in his arm. He threw 60 pitches – no breaking pitches – without any pain and is on his way to Orlando where he will stay until he’s ready to begin his rehab games.
At Gwinnett Julio Teheran had quite a night Monday throwing 67 of his 98 pitches for strikes, striking out eight and allowing just 5 hits without a walk. That’s his the third straight start without a walk. He gave up two runs in his eight inning of work and took the IL ERA lead (1.83) from Mike (2.23) Minor who was with the big club kicking the Jay’s tail. His June has been superb. In four starts he’s allowed 3 runs and 16 hits in 29 innings, maintained a 27/2 K/BB ratio and a WHIP of 0.620. He had a superb short notice start for the Big Braves as well.
Meanwhile the Braves added another lefty bullpen guy at Gwinnett when they claimed 6’6″, 220 pound Dustin Richardson Florida Marlins. He’s been in 23 games at New Orleans this year with a 3-1 record, 3.66 ERA, 1.59 WHIP, and 9.8 K/9 in his 32 innings. If the Braves pitching guru’s can turn him around his 92-94 MPH fastball might come in real handy down the stretch or as added strength for next year. Stocking up with pitching might also indicate that the GM is preparing for the “fine tuning” he hinted at earlier in the week..
After a good day for the Braves all around they had for San Diego where start a West Coast swing with the Padres on Friday and concludes with the Mariners next Wednesday. They return home to see Baltimore and the Rockies before finishing the first half with a three game set against the Phillies. We could well be in first place by then if our bats stay hot. Go Braves!