There was another All-Star game this week, and multiple Braves (or ex-Braves) contributed positively toward a 7-3 victory for the International League last night in Durham, NC.
Philip Gosselin was the third baseman for the IL team and banged out a hit to launch the offense in the second inning. He came around and scored to make it a 3-0 contest at that point. The Internationals ended up with 4 early runs in those first two innings and added three more in the sixth to cruise to their win. Gosselin went 1-4 on the night.
Old friend Wilson Betemit (now a member of the Durham Bulls/Tampa Bay Rays organization) was the DH in this game. He was responsible for one hit as well, but scored 2 RBIs in the process, getting his team the early jump in the 1st inning.
The one-sided affair—even one in the hometown league’s favor—limited the cheering from the 10,274 in attendance for most of the middle innings. That changed when Gwinnett righthander Juan Jaime (Braves) came in for the IL to work the top of the seventh and consistently filled the strike zone with fastballs at 97-99 mph. He struck out two of the three batters he faced.
Gee, sounds a lot like what happened when Craig Kimbrel came in during the major league All-Star game – a shutdown inning.
In two weeks, Jaime turns 27 years old, so he’s definitely ‘old’ by prospect standards. Up until the past couple of weeks, he seemed to have found a groove this season, lowering his walk totals – the bugaboo that slowed his advance despite flamethrower velocity. More recently, that flaw has been returning: 7 walks in five appearances, along with seven earned runs allowed on July 11-12 outings (3 walks, 7 hits).
There was none of that last night, though: two strikeouts and an infield pop-out. End, over, done.
Phil Gosselin has had a pretty wild week. On Sunday, he was hurriedly called up to the majors to replace Dan Uggla on the Atlanta Braves’ bench after Dan’s 1-game suspension. On Monday he was named the International League’s Player of the Week. Wednesday was the All-Star Game. Today he bolts back home to Gwinnett County – with Betemit and the rest of the Durham Bulls chasing him along I-85 – as they open a 4-game series against those Bulls in Lawrenceville tonight. Whew!
That POTW award was well-earned: 18-for-26, six doubles, two triples, a homer and six RBIs. That put 25-year-old Gosselin up to a video-game-level batting average of .345 — third in the International League. Too bad he didn’t stick in the majors… at least not yet.