After the Yankees were able to make an early lead last on Monday night, the Braves squander their four-run lead tonight to lose 6-4. The WPA chart is a great depiction of your feelings, especially in extreme situations like these. After cruising through the first seven innings, the Braves bullpen seemed to fall down Niagara Falls, with Jonny Venters allowing Alex Rodriguez‘s record tying 23rd career grand slam to tie the game and Cory Gearrin allowing Nick Swisher‘s 2-run HR to put the Yankees ahead.
The one positive coming from tonight’s game is the performance by Mike Minor. After Randall Delgado seemingly cemented his spot in the rotation, he struggles Monday night while Minor goes 7 1/3 strong, only allowing one run, one walk and striking out four. Tonight’s start pushes his season averages to a 6.01 ERA and a 5.19 FIP, still not good, but definitely a step in the right direction. When you limit walks and keep the ball in the ballpark, you can be a successful pitcher.
Offensively, Matt Diaz had the bases-clearing double in the first inning, while Brian McCann, Dan Uggla, Chipper Jones, and Andrelton Simmons all reached base multiple times. Chipper grounded out to Jeter in the seventh with McCann and Uggla in scoring position, keeping the Yankees in the game to set up the 6-run eighth. Freddie Freeman struggled again, going 0-for-4 with 2 K’s, extending his walkless streak to over 60 plate appearances.