May 26, 2013; Flushing, NY,USA; Atlanta Braves second baseman Dan Uggla (26) celebrates scoring with left fielder Justin Upton (8) during the seventh inning against the New York Mets at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports

Morning Chop: Braves News 5/28

 

Global Post

Atlanta Braves – TeamReport

Apr 9, 2012; Houston, TX, USA; Atlanta Braves starting pitcher Brandon Beachy (37) throws a pitch against the Houston Astros in the first inning at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

Brandon Beachy threw just half of his 70 pitches for strikes and one of the balls went to the backstop for a run-scoring wild pitch.

But there was also plenty of good to build from as the Braves right-hander goes into his second minor league rehab start on Wednesday.

Beachy allowed two hits and two runs over four innings on Friday as he made his return to the mound in real game competition for Class AAA Gwinnett against visiting Toledo.

“I was a little uncomfortable. Just a little out of synch,” said Beachy, who had Tommy John surgery last June. “The feel is going to come as I get more comfortable out there.”

 

Sports Illustrated

MLB POWER RANKINGS

MLB Power Rankings
1 St. Louis Cardinals
Last Week: 1

Just as the Cardinals’ rotation receives the recognition it deserves on the cover of Sports Illustrated this week, lefthander Jaime Garcia is lost for the year to shoulder surgery while righthander Jake Westbrook remains on the DL until June. But St. Louis has rotation depth and an overshadowed bullpen which has gotten its act together — since a six-run meltdown against the Pirates on April 28, the relievers have blown only one game and pitched to a 2.89 ERA.

2 Cincinnati Reds
Last Week: 3

Joey Votto, who has an 11-game hitting streak, leads the NL in on-base percentage at .484. If that holds, this would be the fourth straight season he has led the league in OBP. The only players ever to have done that are some names you’ve probably heard of: Barry Bonds, Wade Boggs, Ted Williams, Lou Gehrig and Rogers Hornsby.

3 Atlanta Braves
Last Week: 11

Rookie sensation Evan Gattis has homered in three of his last seven plate appearances: a go-ahead homer in the eighth inning on Saturday, a game-tying homer with two outs in the ninth inning on Tuesday and a grand slam on Wednesday. He’s helped power the Braves to the majors’ second-best offensive production in late-and-close situations (.773 OPS).

 

Rant Sports

Poor Decision by Manager Fredi Gonzalez Costs Atlanta Braves

Gonzalez has a tough managerial job with a very thin bullpen. However, Sunday night was a simple decision that he whiffed on.

Gearrin had issues with hitters from both sides of the plate, but all three left-handers reached base, with Lucas Duda getting a key double to put runners at second and third and Ike Davis getting the game-winning two-run single. Gonzalez could not turn to the left-handed Avilan, who has held left-handers to just a .206 average on the season.

The Braves need to squeeze out as much as they can with the starters in their current situation, and Teheran was in line to do just that as he was in cruise control with a manageable pitch count. This would have left both Avilan and Gearrin available in the eighth inning, and Gonzalez could have started the inning with any of the three pitchers.

Managing the bullpen will not be easy, but Gonzalez messed up a chance to have options in the eighth inning — one that cost the Braves a nine-game win streak.

 

Gwinnett Daily Post

Ninth-inning surge lifts G-Braves to road win

Trailing 5-4 with one out and no one on in the top of the ninth inning, the Gwinnett Braves erupted for five runs to rally past the Syracuse Chiefs 9-5 in Game 1 of the four-game series at NBT Bank Stadium on Monday night.

In the ninth, against Syracuse closer Erik Davis (1-2), Joey Terdoslavich beat out an infield single and moved to second on a single to left by Brandon Boggs. Joe Leonard then tied the game with a single to left, scoring Terdoslavich. Ernesto Mejia came to bat as a pinch-hitter and followed with a three-run blast to left center, giving the Braves an 8-5 lead. Matt Pagnozzi finished the rally with a solo homer of his own, extending the lead to 9-5 and finishing the come from behind victory.

Things did not get off to a good start, as the Chiefs took an early lead, scoring a run off of Gwinnett starter Omar Poveda in the bottom of the first. However, the G-Braves (22-30) rebounded with a four-run third inning against Syracuse starter Ryan Tatusko.

In that half inning, Paul Janish and Pagnozzi led off with walks and moved to second and third on a sacrifice bunt by Poveda. Jose Constanza singled to center, scoring Janish to tie the game at 1-1. With Pagnozzi at third, Constanza stole second and both runners scored on a double to left-center by Todd Cunningham, giving Gwinnett a 3-1 lead. Cunningham then moved to third on a ground out and scored on a wild pitch to increase the lead to 4-1.

 

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