Tomahawk Take’s Morning Chop: Summary of Braves News
Recap: Atlanta vs. San Diego
Chris Johnson went 2-for-4 with an RBI for the Braves, who saw their magic number to clinch the NL East shrink to four. Washington lost to Philadelphia on Saturday and now trails Atlanta by 11 games in the division.
Medlen (14-12) gave up just four hits while striking out five for Atlanta, which bounced back from a 4-3 loss in the series opener on Friday. The right- hander won his fourth straight start.
“I think tonight more than even the past few, I established all three pitches early,” Medlen said. “I knew I was going to have to establish all three, and usually it takes a couple innings to kind of get the curveball going, but everything felt really good from the get-go, and I just mixed pitches pretty nicely.”
Atlanta Braves’ David Hale Could Have Impact on Playoffs
The Atlanta Braves lost on Friday night and as is usually the case, a lot of Braves fans easily find the negative in such a situation. Obviously there are negatives to see in any loss but Braves fans are masterful at it. They would much rather look at the gigantic magic number of six and worry that the Braves are in a tailspin instead of focusing on the fact that yet another young starting pitcher had a dominant debut for their team. David Hale posted five innings of great baseball and left without giving up a run but striking out 9 in his debut. Why do we have to focus on the fact that Fredi Gonzalez should have left him in for longer instead of the record level debut of another great young starter? Has it ever occurred to these Braves fans that Gonzalez might just have a reason to limit the young man’s innings in his debut? Oh I know that never crossed the minds of these fans but let us examine the possibilities for a moment just for fun.
Braves’ Jason Heyward: Recovery in ‘right direction’
ATLANTA (AP) — Jason Heyward said Saturday his recovery from a broken jaw is “going in the right direction.”
Heyward was encouraged after taking batting practice for the second straight day. He is wearing a protective flap on his helmet and using a mouthpiece as protection for his surgically repaired jaw, which was fractured when he was hit by a pitch from the Mets’ Jonathon Niese on Aug. 21.
“It’s been fun,” said Heyward, who also caught fly balls and threw in the outfield. “I’m just really anxious to play baseball as soon as possible.”
The outfielder showed more power in his swings before Atlanta’s game against San Diego on Saturday than he did on Friday. He pulled a pitch high off the foul pole in right field.
“I don’t know how long we’ll be doing this until we do something else,” manager Fredi Gonzalez said.
Gonzalez said Heyward could be sent to the Braves’ Instructional League in Florida next week. The Braves hope to have Heyward back with the team and playing right field before the end of the regular season.
[Editorial Note: We love Mark Kotsay, and hate to see him retire. He was an Atlanta Brave only a year, but still a member of the "family". In the one year (or half year) he played for the Braves, he hit on a line of .289/.340/.418/.758. For his career, Kotsay played for the Marlins, Padres, Athletics, Braves, Red Sox, White Sox and Brewers over the course of his 17-year career, batting .276/.332/.405 with 1,781 hits and 127 home runs.]
From Bill Center of the San Diego Union-Tribune:
Mark Kotsay will retire as a player at the end of the season.
“I know this is a good time physically and mentally for me to retire . . . these are my last games as a player,” Kotsay said Saturday before Atlanta’s Kris Medlen shut out the Padres on four hits over 7 1/3 innings to lead the Braves to a 2-1 victory before 40,153 at Turner Field.