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"

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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Tags: Atlanta Braves FanSided

  • Mike Collins

    Id love to bottle THIS team and open it come October!!!

    • Jeff Schafer

      I agree….

      I did speak to soon on the Braves sweeping the Rockies…they play again tonight but we are looking to take that game as well so we’ll update that tonight when we do sweep…my apologies

  • Glen Morrow

    I am loving this !!!!! But, I am afraid that when B.J comes off the DL Freddie will put him back in the lineup. My thinking is you go with what is working and this lineup is working , reminds me of a old saying ” If it’s not broke , don’t fix it “. We are here to win the World series and anything else will be disappointing….Go Braves!!!!!

    • fireboss

      Well, aside from the $15M obvious reasons not to do this you should understand that this is his first season of a five year commitment. B,J, is notably a sensitive, emotional kinda guy and such a move could have permanent adverse affects on his relationship with the team and might result in a similar problem between Justin and the team. I think and said before any deal was known about that BJ didn’t fit and signing would be a mistake. The deal is done however and we will live with it for the foreseeable future.

      With a huge league in a crumbling division he can’t hurt us that badly hitting 7th. How Fredi is told – I doubt it will be only his decision – to handle this will be interesting.

      • Mike Collins

        Fred, while I agree with almost everything you said in the 1st paragraph the second not so much- if I understand it correctly.

        The Braves already have one strikeout machine in Uggla hitting low in the line-up and don’t need another. The now ‘almost insurmountable’ lead they have in the NL East will allow them to bring back BJ and see if he can produce at the same numbers his replacements have been. However lets not forget that Schaefer was seemingly breaking out too and deserving of more playing time- in my opinion AHEAD of BJ.

        Its simply hard to ignore the fact that the team played better when Gattis (and other players) was in the lineup in some form or fashion. I cant see management overlooking this in favor of trying to appease both Upton brothers when this year is the BEST chance (of the last 5 years and probably the next 3) to win a world series.

        BJ’s signing sure looks like a mistake-BUT, he knew how the Braves operate. Produce or play elsewhere. Thats been managements M.O. for the last 20 years. BJ also knows that his signing was more of a chess move that allowed his brother, the real coveted player, to be traded for. In short-both Braves and BJ knew the parameters and risks when they signed the deal.

        • fireboss

          Unless you have that chess move on authority from someone I don;t believe one is related to the other. Wren himself said that he asked price early and when he heard it backed off. He didn’t talk Towers from teh week before Christmas until the Monday before the trade when Prado had turned down his extension and became available. At that time there were really no other teams left in the mix that had what Towers would accept as a win to the fans and pacify an owner who wanted Justin gone.
          The Braves played Uggla and his $13M contract even though Prado was a better second baseman. They will play BJ and his 15M contract for the same reason. Wren staked his name in the BJ signing. Bailing now is unacceptable. In two years he may be able to move BJ but this one and next he will play. Schafer was breaking out but he won’t get starts ahead of BJ barring injury. He’s trade bait now for that waiver wire starter we still need.

          I’ll buy dinner when I’m in Atlanta next time if BJ is benched for any reason other than injury. How’s that?

          • Mike Collins

            I dont think making BJ a p/t or platoon player this year is bailing. Not even by a long shot. The greater good of the team now at stake and both he and Uggla in the lineup at the same time is simply not working. Try again next year when both batters have a chance to look at film and work holes out of their swings. Pride from Wren and BJ shouldn’t (and I believe will not) take priority over this team winning late/post season.

            Ill take you up on the dinner, but remember Im a misplaced Braves fan in Baltimore. Only in ATL once or twice a year. Will be at the Braves games in DC tuesday/wednesday.

          • fireboss

            If BJ comes back and has his typical second half while hitting 7th they will call it success. I wrote about his potential tonight. Wren cannot afford to admit failure – and that is what it would be – this early in the contract. In two years maybe or if BJ goes all greg norton next year but not this.
            I live in Texas but we’ll work it out, maybe next year at Cooperstown, I know a great little restaurant here