March 3, 2013; Lake Buena Vista, FL, USA; Atlanta Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman (5) looks on as he works out prior to the game against the Detroit Tigers at ESPN Disney Wide World of Sports complex, Champion Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Morning Chop: Braves News 4/20


 

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Pirates’ Rodriguez creates a power outage against Braves

One night after observing the capabilities of the powerful Atlanta Braves lineup, Wandy Rodriguez shut them out.

Showing no ill-effects from a hamstring injury that caused him to miss a start, Rodriguez pitched seven scoreless innings of one-hit ball in the Pirates’ 6-0 win against the Braves Friday night at PNC Park.

“Excellent,” Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said. “Just excellent.”

The Pirates (8-8) have won seven of their past 10 games.

The Braves hit four home runs Thursday night and have 29 this season. Entering the game, their .473 slugging percentage ranked second in the major leagues.

“We think we can beat anybody,” Hurdle said. “We’re not surprised when we win.”

 

Chicago Tribune

Atlanta Braves – TeamReport

Mar 7, 2013; Lake Buena Vista, FL, USA; Atlanta Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman (5) against the Detroit Tigers during a spring training game at Champion Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

The Braves kept hitting and winning with Freddie Freeman on the disabled list, but there was no question they were eagerly awaiting the return of their first baseman and cleanup hitter.

Barring a setback this weekend, that should happen in Colorado on Monday — the first day he is eligible to come off the 15-day disabled list.

Freeman took batting practice with Class AAA Gwinnett on Thursday and is scheduled to play three games with the team this weekend against Charlotte, two on the road.

“Everything felt great,” Freeman said after hitting and taking ground balls before Gwinnett’s home game with Norfolk that ended a series. “I’m going to swing all out, because that’s the only way you can test it. If everything is good the next three games, I’ll be flying to Colorado on Monday.”

 

SB Nation Talking Chop

Atlanta Braves Minor League Action

Freddie Freeman began his rehab, Omar Povedatossed a gem, Christian Bethancourt had a big performance in a doubleheader, Cody Martinmade his first start of the year, and rain washed out the Hillcats.

Gwinnett Braves 8, Charlotte Knights 0

  • Jose Constanza LF 3-5 RBI(3), .204 AVG
  • Corey Winberly 2B 3-5 2B(2), RBI(2), K, .231 AVG
  • Freddie Freeman DH 0-3 BB, 3K, .000 AVG
  • Ernesto Mejia 1B 1-2 2 RBI(19), BB, E(4), .346 AVG
  • Joey Terdoslavich RF 2-5 2B(7), HR(3), 3 RBI(12), .299 AVG
  • Paul Janish SS 1-4, .200 AVG
  • Omar Poveda 7 IP, 0 R, 2 H, 1 BB, 4 K, W (1), 2.00 ERA
  • Yohan Flande 1 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 BB, 0 K, 5.23 ERA
  • Andy Russell 1 IP, 0 R, 2 H, 0 BB, 2 K, 3.68 ERA

Great offense and great pitching will often win you ballgames and tonight it did. Nearly everyone on the Braves offense contributed tonight with Terdoslavich, Constanza and Winberly all leading the way with seven hits between them and Joey T with two extra base hits to boot. He now has 10 extra base hits in his last 10 games. On the season he has struck out just 11 times in 67 at bats but he has just one walk to boot. On the mound Omar Poveda, Andrew Russelland Yohan Flande combined to shut down the Knights’ offense allowing just five total hits and one walk.

 

Get Real Baseball

Atlanta Braves Red Hot Start

Every year, it seems that one Major League team gets off to a red hot start. In 2013, that team is the Atlanta Braves. After the first fourteen games, the Braves are a robust 12-2 as play begins on April 18. This performance includes a ten-game winning streak from April 4-16.

The sweeps of the Chicago Cubs and Miami Marlins are not too surprising, but the Braves then swept the Washington Nationals, last year’s National League East Champions and this year’s favorites to win the division again (at least my pick).

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