Apr 21, 2013; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago White Sox starting pitcher Gavin Floyd (34) delivers a pitch during the third inning against the Minnesota Twins at US Cellular Field. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

Morning Chop: Atlanta Braves News 4/14

Jason Heyward RF 4 3 1 1 1 0 .149 .584
B.J. Upton CF 5 1 2 0 0 1 .191 .527
Freddie Freeman 1B 3 2 2 4 0 0 .442 1.333
Justin Upton LF 3 2 2 2 2 1 .386 1.175
Andrelton Simmons SS 5 1 2 3 0 0 .306 .797
Gerald Laird C 4 0 0 0 1 3 .167 .397
Ramiro Pena 3B 4 0 1 0 0 0 .231 .692
Tyler Pastornicky 2B 3 1 1 0 1 2 .250 1.150
Aaron Harang P 3 0 0 0 0 2 .000 .000
   Ian Thomas P 0 0 0 0 0 0
   Jordan Walden P 0 0 0 0 0 0
   Ryan Doumit PH 1 0 0 0 0 0 .133 .321
   Gus Schlosser P 0 0 0 0 0 0
Team Totals 35 10 11 10 5 9 .314 1.148
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 4/14/2014.
Aaron Harang, W (2-1) 6 5 1 1 1 5 0 0.96
Ian Thomas 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 2.45
Jordan Walden 1 0 0 0 1 2 0 3.60
Gus Schlosser 1 1 1 1 0 3 1 7.50
Team Totals 9 6 2 2 2 11 1 2.00
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 4/14/2014.

USA Today

Justin Upton, Braves cap huge weekend

Justin Upton and Freddie Freeman each hit a two-run homer off Gio Gonzalez and the Atlanta Braves completed a three-game sweep of the Washington Nationals with a 10-2 victory on Sunday.

Apr 13, 2014; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Braves left fielder Justin Upton (8) hits a two run home run in the first inning against the Washington Nationals at Turner Field. Mandatory Credit: Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports

Beating Washington for the 18th time in the last 25 series matchups, Atlanta is hoping to use another fast start against the Nationals to win a second straight NL East title.

The Braves have won five of six against the Nationals this year.

Washington began the day by placing third baseman Ryan Zimmerman placed on the 15-day disabled list with a broken right thumb.

With Zimmerman and leadoff hitter Denard Span sidelined, the Nationals’ lineup managed just five hits off Aaron Harang (2-1), who allowed one run, one walk and struck out five in six innings.

Gonzalez (2-1) continued his struggles against the Braves, giving up nine hits, six runs and four walks and striking out six in six innings.



Atlanta Braves’ bats erupt in sweep over the Nationals

The Atlanta Braves started the 2014 campaign with considerable offensive production problems, but the situation looked much better over the last three games, as the Braves posted a whopping 23 runs in a three-game sweep over the Washington Nationals that put Atlanta on top of the NL East with an 8-4 record.

Several Braves batters had impressive games in the latest matchups against the Nats, but none more so than left fielder Justin Upton. Upton came into Friday’s series-opening game fresh off of a two-home run game against the New York Mets and continued to pound baseball after baseball at Turner Field, recording 8 hits which included a pair of doubles as well as a home run that came in the first inning of Atlanta’s dominating 10-2 victory on Sunday.

The youngest of the Upton duo for the Braves looked shaky in the team’s first pair of meetings with Washington last weekend thanks in part to six strikeouts, but his output over the last five games makes it look like the twenty-six-year-old is prepared for another season filled with mammoth home runs and his fair share of RBIs.

Certainly one cannot predict an entire season based on two or three games alone, but all Braves fans should feel cautiously optimistic about how center fielder BJ Upton handled himself at the plate in the series against Washington. Much maligned for his free-swinging approach that has left him with a disconcerting number of strikeouts, “Bossman Junior” appeared more conservative at the plate at Turner Field this weekend, which has resulted in hits in four of his last five starts and a pair of two-hit games to close out the meetings with the Nationals.


NATS Insider

Head games

It would be one thing if the Nationals’ struggles against the Braves were limited to one bad weekend, as was the case the last three days at Turner Field. Or a couple of bad series, as has been case the last 10 days.

But the lopsided nature of this NL East rivalry has been going on much longer than that. Go back to the start of the 2013 season, when a supremely confident Nationals club sported a 7-2 record and then got swept by Atlanta, beginning a chain reaction that continued through Sunday.

A 10-2 drubbing at Turner Field was only the latest — and most disheartening — development. It left the Nationals 1-5 against the Braves this season (compared to 6-0 against everyone else) and 7-18 against the Braves over the last two seasons (compared to 86-63 against everyone else).

Put in other terms: Since the beginning of 2013, the Nationals have played at a 94-win pace against the rest of the NL and six interleague opponents … and at a 45-win pace against that pesky ballclub from down south.

“Maybe when we’re out there playing them, we do well for whatever reason,” Atlanta shortstop Andrelton Simmons told reporters after Sunday’s game. “If anything, it might be in their head.”


Gwinnett MiLB Pro Blog

Gavin Floyd Postgame Quotes 4.13.14

How did you feel out there?

GF: “First couple innings I was just trying to make adjustments because I was rushing a little bit. I was able to make that adjustment in the third and fourth inning. I was glad I was able to make that adjustment and end the game on a good note.”

Mandatory Credit: Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports

You had a rocky few first inning, what did you start doing differently in the last two frames?

GF: “My pace was quick. Everything was going too fast. I kept jumping at the plate. So I refocused and took a breather. I was able to slow myself down a little bit and make pitches.”

What were you trying to accomplish with this start? Was it a result oriented start or just another live workday?

GF: “Obviously you want results as a pitcher. In an ideal world, I wish I would have gone all five innings and pitched 75, but I’m glad I’m going through this. I had a good start last time, and today is a little bump in the road. I had tough two first innings, but I got a chance to figure it out. I need these things to get ready for when I do come back. I feel like being able to make an adjustment like that and being able to make good pitches will only help me out. I think that’s good thing to be able to get in a groove and work through some things on the mound. This will only help to make the adjustments a lot quicker when I do come back.”

How do you feel health wise?

GF: I feel good. Elbow is good. Stamina is too.

Tags: Atlanta Braves

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