Jul 31, 2013; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Braves starting pitcher Mike Minor (36) grips the ball prior to a pitch against the Colorado Rockies during the fourth inning at Turner Field. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Atlanta Braves Dominate "We're Cooking On All Cylinders"

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Three words…Braves Are Hot!!

After nearly sweeping the St. Louis Cardinals over the weekend, the Braves came into Wednesday night’s game already up 2-0 in the Colorado Series and nothing changed.  The powering offense that everyone expected coming into the season has showed up for more then one game!!

Jul 31, 2013; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Braves catcher Brian McCann (16) runs the bases after hitting a home run against the Colorado Rockies during the third inning at Turner Field. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Atlanta Braves put nine runs on the board to sweep the Rockies 9-0.  The offense has been in high gear ever since Jason Heyward was slotted into the leadoff role.

One of the stars from Wednesday Justin Upton (3-5 with a run scored) was asked about JHey in the leadoff spot “As far as plate discipline and getting on base, he’s very good at that so I think he fits there well…he runs the bases well.  It may be a band-aid right now but he’s doing a great job.”

The offense is on fire right now with Freddie Freeman having another outstanding game going 4-4 with two RBI’s (71 for the season) and two runs scored.

“Right from the very beginning of the season (he got off to a great start)…(then) he had a couple games where he didn’t get hits and you start to wonder what’s the matter with Freeman but through the course of the year, he has been outstanding,” Fredi Gonzalez spoke on Freeman.

Brian McCann continues his hot summer hitting another blast into the stands his 15th of the season.

“You put him (Brian McCann) in that lineup with Gattis and Freeman, he is a threat and a presence, Manager Gonzalez said.  “Last year with his injury to his shoulder, he wasn’t but this year he’s a presence in our lineup and it’s nice to have him out there.”

Chris Johnson somehow just keeps hitting going 2-5 with a .342 batting average.  Evan Gattis picked up two hits as well as Anrelton Simmons.

“For the most part we are all swinging the bats well right now.  The lineup looks good right now, we are really putting together some hits,” Justin Upton said.

Asked if hitting is contagious, Upton replied with “Once a couple guys get going, you see those guys swinging the bats well, you want to contribute.  I don’t want to say it’s contagious because it takes a lot of work but I think it’s working out for us.”

Even Mike Minor got into the mix of offense as he drove in his sixth RBI of the season with a single between short and third.

Minor spoke on his hit “It’s just fun, you know, it’s added fun out there.  Early in the game I thought it might of been a big RBI, especially the first time I came up, there was a guy on second I was trying to get him in but couldn’t.  But it’s just added fun.”

Jul 31, 2013; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Braves starting pitcher Mike Minor (36) winds up to deliver a pitch against the Colorado Rockies during the second inning at Turner Field. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Gonzalez spoke about the entire team hitting “1-8 we had some good at bats, even Mike Minor so 1-9, he drove in a run so it’s a good offense.”

But it wasn’t just the offense on Wednesday, Minor pitched seven complete innings giving up only two hits, walking no one and striking out six to pick up his 11th win of the season.

“The way he navigates through a game, he doesn’t get raddled out there and he hits his spots…he keeps runs off the board,” Gonzalez said.  “Mike did a nice job because it’s hard some times to pitch with that type of lead, there were a lot of delays between us scoring runs and them changing pitchers and he did a nice job of keeping that edge going.  That’s something that sometimes young pitchers can’t handle and he did it.”

Though Minor’s stat sheet looks really impressive, he still wasn’t happy with his performance…

Minor on if he was as sharp as he’s been on season “Not as sharp but I was still making pitches.  I was tagging guys with fastballs and attacking both sides of the plate.  I left a bunch of curveballs up in the zone and got lucky with rollover ground balls to short and third base…that was pretty much the pitch I left up in the zone a lot.  0-2, 1-2 counts, it’s suppose to be in the dirt, BMac is putting the glove down there and I’m leaving it right over the middle of the plate and just getting lucky with rollovers.”

Our hugger, Freddie Freeman was short and sweet and summed it up perfectly with his comments after Wednesday’s game…

“We’re cooking on all cylinders” Freeman said.

 

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