On Monday night, Evan Gattis led the Braves to victory with a walk-off HR to beat the Marlins 4-2. Although there wasn't a walk-off home run this time, El Oso Blanco still delivered in the waning frames of the game as he came off of the bench to hit a 2-run double to give the Braves the lead in the bottom of the 8th and set up Craig Kimbrel to pick up the save to end the game. Aaron Harang continued his extremely impressive and improbable start to the season, as he racked up 11 strikeouts in 6 innings. The Braves improved to 14-7 with the win, and also picked up their 6th series win in 7 so far.
Freddie Freeman's eyes have been causing him a few problems since 2012, and the issues have continued into 2014 as news came out yesterday that Freeman has been dealing with eye dryness since the Mets series. The affliction is definitely having a bit of an effect on the star first baseman, but Freeman is also confident that this particular incident will not be a long-term hindrance.
Yesterday, one of the minor news notes surrounding Tuesday's tilt with the Marlins was the relationship between Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez and our own Chris Johnson. After all, the two were the primary participants in the kerfuffle that happened late last season. Well, the two appear to have left the incident in the past, and Johnson told Mark Bowman as much:
"People think I hate [Fernandez], but I love the guy," Johnson said. "I wear my heart on my sleeve, and that is probably why things got so out of hand. I learned a lot. Last year, I apologized to him and some of their guys the next day. People think it was one-sided with him doing all of the apologizing. I did a lot of things wrong last year with that experience."
In his latest blog for the AJC, Braves beat writer Dave O'Brien made note of the fact that despite the fact that the Braves starting rotation has been absolutely sterling in the first month of the season, the offense hasn't been consistently strong to match the excellent pitching. He notes that the Braves offense seems to have gone through "all or nothing" phases, as he points out in the following quote:
They were shut out while totaling four hits and three hits in the first and sixth games of that period, and they got 10 hits in 14 innings of the 4-3 loss at New York. The Braves won the three games in which they homered during that six-game span, and lost the three in which they did not.
For the season, the Braves enter Wednesday with a 12-1 record in games when they hit at least one homer, and 1-6 when they don’t.
League Wide News
2 weeks ago, Yankees pitcher Michael Pineda started a minor scandal during the last Red Sox-Yankees series when ESPN's cameras pointed out that he had a bit of pine tar globbed onto his throwing hand. Well, 2 weeks later, this happened:
Smooth move, Pineda. They saw it on your hand last time so they'll obviously be checking for your hand again this time. So, put it on your neck in plain sight and then they'll never catch on to your cunning ruse! Pineda will now be facing a 10-game ban, or two starts since he's a pitcher.
Josh Johnson just can't catch a break when it comes to the injuries, eh? Johnson had oodles of potential back in the mid '00s but it appears that that potential has been completely sapped as his rash of injuries has culminated in a second Tommy John surgery, and it also seems like he's the 38th pitcher to be sidelined for this particular surgery this season, and we're only in April. In related news, Dr. James Andrews is making a killing in 2014.
Yes, I'm talking about that T-Mac. Tracy McGrady decided to pursue his childhood dream of playing professional baseball after he finished a pretty good professional basketball career, and the former NBA All-Star will now be able to say that he accomplished his goal of playing pro ball, even if it's in an independent minor league.
Despite being one of the best players to ever don a Chicago Cubs uniform (even if that tenure may have a cloud of PED usage and corked bats hovering over it), Sammy Sosa was not invited to the 100 Year Anniversary Celebration of Wrigley Field. From CBS' article on the subject:
"There are some things Sammy needs to look at and consider prior to having an engagement with the team," said team spokesman Julian Green. "Sammy Sosa was a Cub that left his indelible print on this franchise, but as it was said by (owner) Tom Ricketts before, he hoped there is a time when Sammy can be back and be with the franchise."
Apparently, there is still bad blood from the way that Sosa left Chicago, and neither side has done much to rebuild the bridge that was burnt in the process.
Coors Field in Colorado is infamous for being a launching pad for baseballs. San Francisco Giants OF Michael Morse took it to the next level, though, as he hit two separate 450+ foot homers yesterday at Coors in an impressive show of power, even in the thin air of Denver. Morse is currently hitting .266/.329/.469 with 130 wRC+, and these are 2 of the 5 HRs that he's hit this season.