Despite the fact I am a non-drinker, I woke up this morning with a hangover. A nasty, vicious head-pounding hangover. Last night I watched Ubaldo Jimenez no-hit the Braves where his stuff got better as the game went on. Through 4.1 innings, Jimenez struggled with his control but got batters out with a nasty 98 MPH fastball with movement. As pacgnosis said in the main page recap, his slider was "breaking so much that it was often breaking too much" and his "cureball was unhittable".
Praying his velocity would decrease when his pitch count got in the 100s, he continued to throw as if he were in the 1st inning. After 6th inning adjustment where he began throwing out of the stretch, he mowed over every Braves hitter one-by-one. As with any no-hit bid, he had a scare when Troy Glaus appeared to have broke it up when Rookies center fielder Dexter Fowler had a rocket pack strapped around his waist and made the play of the year in the left-center gap to save it.
After three straight games of scoring at least 6 runs, the Braves offense was tamed by the best pitching performance in Rockies history (at least according to the record books) with a stunned crowd of 30,000 plus looking on from the Ted.
What good could possibly come out of this game? Two words - Jonny Venters. The 24-year-old kid who was called up yesterday (I found out of the roster move during the game) came in and pitched 3 innings, allowing only 1 hit (off a good pitch to Todd Helton at that), with 1 walk and 2 strikeouts. When I saw Venters warming up, I figured we were toast. I didn't know anything about him and figured we were perserving our overworked bullpen for today's afternoon finale. The minor league starting lefty turned reliever blew me away. He had great poise but even better than poise he had great stuff. His fastball was 94-95 MPH and like Jimenez, it had movement!
While last night's game left me feeling ill this morning, we found out we have even more depth in our already outstanding pitching staff. If there was one thing that worried me about our staff it was the lack of lefties. After all, we couldn't go all season with O'Flaherty being our only middle reliever that threw left handed. Jo-Jo Reyes should have never made the team out of spring training and I hope we have seen the last of him in Atlanta.
Cheer up Braves fans and let's root for JJ in hopes he bounces back in a big way in today's rubber match. Hopefully our bats will get going early and we'll take another series from a very good club.
Since I'm new, here's a brief biography about me: My name is Richard Gray, I am a 25-year-old journalist from West Virginia. I own and operate the popular professional wrestling news website, WrestlingNewsWorld.com. We proudly serve over 30,000 unique visitors a day. While I promised myself I would not write about the Braves (as it is my source of relaxation) I have decided this is the year where I contribute from time-to-time to the wonderful community here at Talking Chop. Aside from being a die hard Braves fan I am a 2007 graduate from West Virginia University and my other favorite teams are the Dallas Cowboys, Chicago Bulls, Pittsburgh Penguins and WVU Mountaineers.