Evan Gattis pinch-hit HR in 8th pushes Braves (13-2) by Pirates
The Evan Gattis story just keeps getting better.
So do the Atlanta Braves.
The rookie catcher hit a pinch-hit two-run homer in the eighth to lift the Braves to a 6-4 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates on Thursday.
Gattis turned on a sinker from Pittsburgh reliever Jared Hughes (1-1) and drilled it down the line to continue his remarkable emergence.
“I was a little surprised,” Gattis said. “I didn’t think I hit it hard enough. It started hooking and I’m glad it did because I don’t think it would have gone out otherwise.”
Atlanta Braves: Which All-time Franchise Records Will Fall in 2013?
Team: 235 in 2003
In 2003, Javy Lopez, Andruw Jones, Gary Sheffield, Chipper Jones, Marcus Giles and Vinny Castilla all hit over 20 home runs for the Braves. No surprise that their efforts resulted in the season during which a franchise record 235 balls left the yard. But, if the start of the 2013 season foreshadows accurately, this Braves’ club has an opportunity to leave that total far in their rearview mirror.
Individual: Andruw Jones, 51 in 2005
Who would have guessed the all-time home-run record for the Braves was held by someone other than Hank Aaron? Even though Hammerin’ Hank ended his career with 755 homers, the most he ever hit in any season was the 47 he belted in 1971.
While I’m not sure Justin Upton will reach the 92 home runs he is currently on pace for, the start to the 2013 season clearly indicates that Jones’ record of 51 might be in jeopardy. Upton’s career high is only 31, but at just 25-years-old, the Braves’ newest slugger may just now be entering his prime.
Team: 1,169 in 2006
Thanks to the Braves starting 2013 by striking out more than the Harvard chess team on Lady’s Night, Atlanta is currently at risk of destroying their dubious punch-out record. At just under nine Ks per game, the Braves would finish with umpires having politely asked them to go sit down 1,400 times.
Craig Kimbrel blows Pirates away
Braves closer Craig Kimbrel picked up his seventh save of the season Thursday against the Pirates, and he did so in convincing fashion. Kimbrel needed 16 pitches to strike out the side, preserving a 6-4 win.
Kimbrel now has seven saves in seven opportunities, and he has yet to allow a run in 7 2/3 innings. Kimbrel has walked two and allowed two hits while striking out 10 batters.
Hudson seeks 200th major league victory
It was 1995 and Chattahoochee Valley Community College baseball was playing a game against one of its rivals.
The lineups were even except for a scrawny 160-pound sophomore named Tim Hudson. For nine innings, both at the plate and on the mound, Hudson was single-handedly beating the opponent, said former teammate and current CVCC coach Adam Thomas.
“He’s doing everything against them, and at one point I can hear their coach yelling: ‘We are letting a Fungo bat beat us today!’ ” Thomas said with a laugh. “We called him ‘Fungo’ for the rest of the season.”
Fast forward 18 years, and Fungo is on the verge of a personal milestone in Major League Baseball.
One hundred and ninety-nine times since he made it to the big leagues in 1999, Hudson has beaten the other team. A win tonight against the Pittsburgh Pirates would make it 200 and put him in elite company: Only 113 pitchers have achieved the milestone, only two of whom are still active.