Gattis, Minor lead Braves past Marlins 8-0
Evan Gattis hit a three-run homer and the Atlanta Braves completed their second consecutive three-game sweep when they beat the reeling Miami Marlins 8-0 Wednesday night.
Mike Minor pitched 5 2-3 innings for the Braves, whose 8-1 record leads the majors. They’re off to their best start since 1994, when they began the season 13-1.
….Gattis hit six home runs in spring training as a non-roster invitee to earn a spot on the team. The surprising success of the 26-year-old catcher gives the Braves considerable depth at the position, with Brian McCann expected to return from shoulder surgery by the end of April.
Don’t Look Now but Atlanta Braves are Best Pitching Staff in MLB
Ten or twenty years ago if I asked you to glance at which Major League Baseball team had the lowest team ERA, you would not be surprised in the least if the Atlanta Braves were sitting atop that stat line. Tom Glavine, John Smoltz and Greg Maddux were notoriously the best staff in the majors along with the relievers on hand. What if I asked you to look at that ERA stat line right now? Well, if you look now you will see something that might be surprising. The Braves have the best pitching staff in the majors.
There are your notorious top three ace-quality pitchers: Tim Hudson, Kris Medlen, Paul Maholm and Mike Minor. Wait, who are those last two guys? In the finale of the Braves series with the Miami Marlins, Minor pitched shutout baseball until he was relieved in the sixth inning. That effort along with the shut down innings by the Braves bullpen brought the team ERA down to a miniscule 1.89. That makes them the only team in MLB with a team ERA below 2.
Atlanta Braves: Does Evan Gattis Make Brian McCann Expendable?
When Evan Gattis first envisioned clawing and scratching his way on to the Braves’ roster this spring, he probably never even consider the possibility that, not only would he make the team, but he would become the starting catcher and cleanup hitter inside of a week.
Yet, that is exactly where the 26-year-old rookie suddenly finds himself. On a team that includes Justin Upton, B.J. Upton and Jason Heyward, manager Fredi Gonzalez elected to pencil the unproven Gattis into the four-hole of the Atlanta lineup.
With Freddie Freeman, the Braves normal cleanup hitter, currently on the shelf with an oblique injury, Gattis has responded in a big way, He has started the 2013 season hitting .368 with two home runs and three RBIs through the first eight games of Atlanta’s schedule.
Now the question has to be asked as to what exactly the plans are when six-time All-Star catcher Brian McCann returns from the disabled listed later this month. How can Gattis go from being a middle-of-the-order guy on the team with the best record in baseball, to suddenly sitting on the bench or even potentially having to thumb it back down to the minors?
I’m running to Miami to give gattis the biggest hug ever!!!
Get me to Miami!!! I love my team!!
Gwinnett Upended by Durham, 10-6
The Durham Bulls (6-1) pounded Gwinnett Braves (4-3) pitching for 14 hits and swept the three-game series with a 10-6 win Wednesday afternoon at Durham Bulls Athletic Park.
….Gilmartin went 4.0 innings, allowing five hits, three runs, two earned, five walks and two strikeouts. Carpenter (L, 1-1) picked up the loss in two innings of relief by giving up six hits, three earned runs while striking out two.
Offensively, the Braves were led by Terdoslavich who went 3-for-5 with 3 RBIs. Cunningham, Carrithers, Kazmar and Pastornicky each had two hits.