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February 20, 2013; Lake Buena Vista, FL, USA; Atlanta Braves catcher Brian McCann (16) poses for a picture during photo day at Disney Wide World of Sports complex. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Morning Chop: Braves News 5/4

 

The Miami Herald

Braves’ bullpen blows chance to beat Mets

Apr 29, 2013; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Braves relief pitcher Craig Kimbrel (46) reacts after recording the final out against the Washington Nationals during the ninth inning at Turner Field. The Braves defeated the Nationals 3-2. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Braves closer Craig Kimbrel put the blame on himself for making a mistake pitch to David Wright.

Kimbrel wasn’t alone, though. Eric O’Flaherty gave up a home run, too, and Jordan Walden fell apart in the 10th inning for a rare meltdown by Atlanta’s bullpen.

“Yeah, we’ve been good so far this year until tonight,” Kimbrel said. “Our offense went out there and did what they had to do. They scored when we needed to score, and we weren’t just able to hold it down.”

Wright hit the tying home run in the ninth inning off Kimbrel and the New York Mets scored twice in the 10th off Walden to rally for a 7-5 victory over the Atlanta Braves on Friday night.

Atlanta has dropped three straight and 11 of 16.

New York Mets defeat Atlanta Braves

David Wright hit the tying home run in the ninth inning off closer Craig Kimbrel and the New York Mets scored twice in the 10th to rally for a 7-5 victory over the Atlanta Braves on Friday night.

The Mets, who have won two in a row after dropping six straight, scored four of their first five runs on homers before taking a two-run lead off Jordan Walden (1-1) in the 10th.

 Notes: Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said C Brian McCann, who’s on the disabled list following offseason surgery to repair a torn labrum, could be activated Monday or Tuesday at Cincinnati. … The Mets optioned CF Collin Cowgill and called up Andrew Brown from Triple-A Las Vegas before the game. Brown went 0 for 3 and started in right. Byrd started in center. … Since coming off the disabled list last Aug. 24 with Milwaukee, Marcum is 2-3 with a 5.05 ERA in 10 starts and one relief appearance.

Series Preview: Atlanta Braves

Game 1: Shaun Marcum (5.2 IP, 50 ERA+, 1.33 K/BB) vs. Mike Minor (31.2 IP, 125 ERA+, 5.40 K/BB)

Minor, 25, was selected seventh overall in the 2009 draft by the Braves and quickly rose to stardom in their minor league system. Once he reached the big leagues, he never pitched like the ace some thought he could become. Minor came into the season with a career ERA of 4.37 in 302.2 career innings. This year, however, has been much better for him, at least so far. Over five starts, he has a 3.13 ERA and career-best 1.4 BB/9 rate. He was roughed up for six runs in 6.2 innings against the juggernaut Detroit offense, but had a 1.80 ERA in four starts coming into that outing.

Game 2: Jonathon Niese (32.2 IP, 112 ERA+, 1.31 K/BB) vs. Julio Teheran (28.1 IP, 77 ERA+, 2.50 K/BB)

Teheran has been a highly-regarded prospect since his breakout year in the minors in 2009. He worked his way through the minors fairly quickly, until stalling at Triple-A last season. Coming off a dominant season in Triple-A in 2011, Teheran failed to earn a job out of spring training, and was sent back. Once he was back in the minors, Teheran wasn’t the same pitcher. His 3.0 walks per nine wasn’t terrible, but his 6.7 strikeouts was a career-low. What was most concerning was the 18 home runs he gave up, doubling his previous career-worst of nine. Teheran has a 5.08 ERA in five starts, striking out 20 and walking eight in 28.1 innings.

Game 3: Matt Harvey (40.1 IP, 237 ERA+, 3.83 K/BB) vs. Tim Hudson (35 IP, 101 ERA+, 2.18 K/BB)

Even at age 37, Hudson continues to be the rock of the Atlanta rotation. In 11 of his past 12 seasons, Hudson has posted an ERA below four. This year, he has a 3.86 ERA in 35 innings over six starts. In his last outing, Hudson shut down the Nationals, holding them to one run on three hits in seven innings on only 96 pitches.

 

Gwinnett Braves

McCann Homers, but G-Braves Fall 6-2

For the second straight night, the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders (15-11) put a damper on Brian McCann’s visit to Coolray Field as they clipped Gwinnett Braves (12-17), 6-2 on Friday night. McCann, continuing a minor league injury rehab assignment, went 2-for-4 with a solo home run and an RBI in front of a season-high 6,869 fans.

Gwinnett fell behind in the top of the first as starter Yohan Flande struggled. David Adams and Zoilo Almonte hit back-to-back singles with one out. Two batters later, Addison Maruszak delivered his second two-run double of the series, giving the RailRiders a 2-0 lead.

McCann put the G-Braves on the board in the fourth, blasting a homer over the right field fence against Scranton starter Graham Stoneburner. McCann’s fourth home run on his rehab stint (including three with Class-A Rome) cut the deficit to 2-1.

 

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