Remember back in April when the Marlins basically ambushed the Braves and forced them to jump into a snake pit? A weird, cavernous snake pit with rave green walls and a Fishstravaganza in the center of it all? Well, the Braves got payback for that ambush by coming to Miami and giving the Marlins a taste of their own medicine. The Marlins went into that series with a 20-8 W-L record at home. They ended it with a 20-11 record.
Tim Hudson spent 9 mostly-happy and productive seasons as an Atlanta Brave. He was beloved by most of the fanbase, and well-respected in the clubhouse. So naturally, he expected that this meant that the Braves would go above and beyond to retain the 38-year old pitcher coming off of a major ankle injury. When they didn't, Ol' Huddy saw that as a "slap in the face." Needless to say, Braves Country was not pleased, with Chipper Jones being the most prominent figure to express disappointment in the now-Giants starter's comments.
The Braves got a bit of a boost this past week from 2 major call-ups from the farm. Tommy La Stella came up from Gwinnett and served as an immediate upgrade at the 2nd base position, while Shae Simmons' surprise call-up served to further bolster the bullpen while Jordan Walden recovers from a hamstring injury. Both had productive weeks; Shae Simmons got a hold in his first ML appearance and a save, while TLS simply got on base on a regular basis, which is basically like giving a cold glass of water to a man who was marooned in the desert, with the way our previous 2nd basemen hit.
Craig Kimbrel is currently tied with John Smoltz for the all-time lead in saves for the Atlanta Braves franchise. The Braves will be playing their next two games at home against the Seattle Mariners. The record is going to be broken eventually, but naturally, everybody wants to see the record broken at home so that it can get a proper celebration on the spot. However, after this 2-game series with Seattle, there will be only 7 more home games for the Braves this month, so if Kimbrel is going to break the record at home, there's no time like now.
If you're like me, if you've played a baseball video game enough, you like to make things interesting by having all of the teams start with a clean slate via a league-wide draft. Well, ESPN has enough baseball "experts" on staff at The Worldwide Leader that they decided to do a Franchise Player Draft on a yearly basis. This time, the 4th annual installment saw 4 Braves go in the first round of that draft. Jason Heyward, Freddie Freeman, Andrelton Simmons, and Julio Teheran were 4 of the top 30 players chosen in that draft, with each player going at 16, 17, 22, and 30, respectively. It might not mean a doggone thing, but it does serve as a reminder of the lovely core that the Braves will be have for the foreseeable future.
Speaking of drafts, the real-deal draft will be going down later this week, with the MLB Network televising the first 74 picks of the draft. The Braves won't be picking until Comp Round A (thanks to the Ervin Santana signing), which is when they'll make their first selection with the 32nd pick of the draft. In addition, they'll have the 28th biggest bonus pool to give to potential draft picks. Considering where the Braves are starting this draft, that probably won't be a huge deal. For more info, check out our story stream on the draft, which is where our minor league team here at TC is doing a great job covering the history, trends, mocks, and anything else you need to know.
LEAGUE WIDE NEWS
The Mets and Phillies have played an odd old series in Philadelphia this past weekend. Firstly, it was 5 games long, ranging from Thursday until last night. Secondly, 3 of the games went extra innings, including 2 consecutive 14-inning affairs. Thirdly, word came out that the Mets' used their last visit to Philly to become the Philly Cheesesteak Heavyweight Champions of the World. I'm sure Bartolo Colon had a lot to do with that accomplishment. Anyways, the Mets won 11-2 last night, and only needed 9 innings to do it.
The Astros tried this with OF George Springer on multiple times. Multiple times, Springer refused. So the Astros decided to move on to their next target, 1B Jon Singleton. Singleton must have decided that he was down with $10 MM in guaranteed money, because he took the deal and became the first player in Major League history to sign a contract extension with zero days of Major League service time. The deal is extremely team friendly for Houston, so you can see why they tried this with Springer and are probably ecstatic that Springer decided to sign the deal that has 3 years of club options that could potentially make it worth $35 MM for Singleton.
Felix Hernandez will not be pitching against the Braves during this upcoming 2-game series in Atlanta. That's bittersweet. Bitter because we get to miss out on seeing this guy do his thing live in a rare appearance in Atlanta, and sweet because this means he won't have the opportunity to completely hoodwink our batters. Seattle made an extremely quick trip to the Bronx to see the Yankees and they demolished them to the tune of 10-2, and Felix's 7 innings of solid work were a big part of that.