Jul 1, 2014; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Braves catcher Christian Bethancourt (25) is shown behind the plate as he catches for Atlanta Braves starting pitcher Mike Minor (not pictured) in the first inning of their game against the New York Mets at Turner Field. The Braves defeated the Mets 5-4. Mandatory Credit: Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports

Atlanta Braves News: Morning Chop

Baseball Reference

Yeah, I’m a little shocked that the Atlanta Braves have won 8 in a row, but then despite my rants at times, I know this team has a ton of talent to draw upon, and lately they’ve been doing that well. Let’s hope it continues. Check out the box scores from last night’s Independence Day victory in the first game of the series against the visiting Arizona Diamondbacks, courtesy of Baseball Reference.

Batting AB R H RBI BB SO PA BA OBP SLG OPS Pit Str PO A
B.J. Upton CF 4 1 2 0 0 1 4 .211 .276 .339 .615 13 8 3 0 SB
Andrelton Simmons SS 3 1 2 1 0 0 4 .259 .299 .362 .661 14 8 2 5 2B,SH
Freddie Freeman 1B 4 1 2 2 0 0 4 .293 .386 .497 .883 16 9 12 2
Justin Upton LF 3 0 1 1 1 2 4 .271 .343 .495 .838 22 12 1 0 2B
Jason Heyward RF 4 0 1 1 0 0 4 .245 .339 .370 .709 10 7 0 0
Chris Johnson 3B 4 0 0 0 0 1 4 .281 .301 .361 .662 13 11 0 0 GDP
Tommy La Stella 2B 4 0 2 0 0 0 4 .277 .360 .345 .705 16 13 1 6
Gerald Laird C 4 1 2 0 0 0 4 .234 .314 .298 .612 14 10 7 2
Ervin Santana P 2 1 0 0 0 1 3 .083 .108 .083 .191 9 7 1 0 SH
   Luis Avilan P 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
   Jordan Walden P 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
   Ryan Doumit PH 1 0 0 0 0 1 1 .216 .247 .341 .588 6 4
   Craig Kimbrel P 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Team Totals 33 5 12 5 1 6 36 .364 .382 .424 .807 133 89 27 15

Generated 7/5/2014.
Pitching IP H R ER BB SO HR ERA BF Pit Str Ctct StS StL GB FB LD
Ervin Santana, W (7-5) 7.1 6 2 2 1 6 0 3.93 28 108 67 33 13 21 15 6 3
Luis Avilan, H (7) 0.1 0 0 0 0 0 0 4.08 1 5 3 3 0 0 1 0 0
Jordan Walden, H (9) 0.1 1 0 0 0 1 0 2.66 2 7 4 3 1 0 0 1 0
Craig Kimbrel, S (27) 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 2.04 3 12 8 6 0 2 1 1 0
Team Totals 9 7 2 2 1 8 0 2.00 34 132 82 45 14 23 17 8 3
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 7/5/2014.

 


AZ Central

Want a perspective on last night’s game, from a reporter out in enemy territory? Check out AZ Central’s Nick Piecoro, sharing a recap of the Atlanta Braves win last night.

Atlanta Braves win 8th straight game by downing Arizona Diamondbacks

Braves 5, Diamondbacks 2

Recap: Diamondbacks RHP Josh Collmenter allowed four runs in the first two innings and Braves RHP Ervin Santana pitched into the eighth inning as Atlanta came away with a win at Turner Field.

The win was the Braves’ eighth in a row, their longest streak since they won 14 in a row in the second half of last season.

 


MLB

I’m a fan of Christian Bethancourt, and personally I think he needs to play more often than Laird in the absence of Evan Gattis, but I get that he also needs to tutor on the big stage under a seasoned catcher. Mark Bowman, MLB reporter for the Altanta Braves points out how such a catcher, Gerald Laird, is the perfect tutor. Check out Mark’s thoughts.

Bethancourt learning the ropes from selfless Laird

ATLANTA — Gerald Laird will be prepared to play whenever necessary as Evan Gattis spends at least the next couple of weeks on the disabled list. But the Braves backup catcher understands he also needs to serve as an unselfish mentor toChristian Bethancourt, who will likely see a majority of the time behind the plate in Gattis’ absence.

“I want him to feel comfortable and know that I’m in his corner,” Laird said. “I want him to do well because if he does well, we win. The more games we win, the better chance we have to go to the postseason and that’s what it’s all about.”

 


Atlanta Journal Constitution

With this roller coaster roster, the Atlanta Braves have played well, but frankly been a touch fortunate to have won eight games in a row. Before you get excited, realize that it is, as David O’Brien of AJC points out, a soft part of the schedule. The real Atlanta Braves may show up again in some upcoming series, and David points out how they need to keep the pedal to the metal.

Braves must keep pedal to metal in soft part of schedule

Remember during the stretch drive of the 2012 season when the Braves and Nationals were in lockstep? When the Braves won, the Nats won. When they lost, the Nats lost. It happened almost every day for weeks on end.

Well, we’re not in the stretch drive yet, but it’s been happening again lately. After Atlanta wasted an opportunity to gain ground when the Nats struggled for long stretches of the first half, the Braves are now on their first extended winning streak of the season. But they haven’t been able to put any distance between themselves and the Nats, who are also suddenly surging.

 


Ledger-Enquirer

The Ledger-Enquirer picked up on this Cox Newspapers story by Erica A. Hernandez. Erica shares with us how young catcher and top prospect Christian Bethancourt followed in his father’s foot steps. Check out Erica’s story.

Braves catcher Christian Bethancourt follows in his dad’s steps

ATLANTA — Christian Bethancourt could not play any other position; he was born to be a catcher.

When he first picked up a bat at age 5, he was a third baseman, but he had trouble staying there. Every time a batter would hit a ball, even if it was toward right field, he would run after it.

“I remember my mom would scold me because when they would hit a ball I wanted to go and get it. I didn’t trust my peers. I didn’t think they could catch it.”

Bethancourt said he was a restless child who always needed to be doing something when he was growing up in Panama City, Panama. After that, his parents decided that following in his father’s footsteps as a catcher would probably be a better fit.

 

Tags: Atlanta Braves Christian Bethancourt Gerald Laird

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