The Braves are getting hot/taking advantage of a somewhat soft schedule, as they completed a 3-game sweep of the Mets yesterday. Chris Johnson's RBI double brought in 3 runs during the first inning, and that was enough for Julio Teheran to work with, as he held the Mets to only one run. 3-1 ended up being the final score as the Braves proceeded to win their 7th game in a row.
Julio Teheran's strong outing last night was just another argument in favor of why Teheran should be headed to Minneapolis for the All-Star Game. With that being said, Teheran may not be able to even participate in the All-Star Game. Not because he's banned from Minnesota or anything like that, but because he is scheduled to pitch on the Sunday before the game, which would render him ineligible to participate. If NL/Cardinals manager Mike Matheny does select Teheran and Teheran pitches the Sunday before, he'd still get to go and be recognized, however.
Also, if you're gonna vote, then here's a quick link to the ballot. You've got until 11:59 PM EST tonight to get your votes in.
Jason Heyward has been absolutely outstanding on defense in right field for the Braves so far this season, and he was especially good in the month of June, and ESPN's Sweet Spot recognized his work by giving him the Defensive Player of the Month award for June. Plus, if you have a month with 8 DRS, you deserve whatever plaudits come your way.
David Carpenter has come off of the disabled list, and he's feeling pretty good. This isn't just a physical feeling (He told Mark Bowman that he was "back to normal"), but a mental feeling as well. Carpenter was glad for the time of rest not only to rest his body, but his mindset, too. From Bowman's report:
"I just got a little tired," Carpenter said. "I always want the ball whenever they call down. I never want to say I need a day or I need this. You want to be a guy that is relied upon."
Conversely, Evan Gattis is actually on the DL with a bulging disc in his back. The big-hitting catcher for the Braves got an epidural yesterday, and amazingly, he told the AJC's David O'Brien that he felt no pain during the process, which is a bit unusual considering that they basically stuck a needle deep into his back. I'm cringing just thinking about it. Yeesh. Anyways, there's no timetable for El Oso Blanco's return. Here's hoping he can come back healthy soon, because he got injured while he was in the process of really cementing himself as a force at the plate.
In lieu of Gattis, rookie catcher Christian Bethancourt has been getting plenty of burn as the Braves' backstop. This has been an exciting development, yet it had at least a few people wondering why Bethancourt was getting the starting nod instead of Gerald Laird or even Ryan Doumit, who's been known to catch a game or two in his day. The reason is because Laird has been nursing a sore oblique for a couple of weeks, and instead of putting stress on Laird, Fredi Gonzalez has decided that the rookie is more than capable to man the position for the time being.
Meanwhile on the farm, 2B prospect Jose Peraza has been dazzling the Braves' minor league system, and he put a cherry on top of that dazzling ice cream sundae of minor league baseball by stealing home. Dan's got the video embedded in the post, but the lesson of that story is simple: Don't make a lazy pickoff throw to 1st when Peraza is on 3rd. He might embarrass you.
LEAGUE WIDE NEWS
So, the San Diego Padres have been pretty bad at hitting the ball, lately. In June, their wRC+ as a team was 40. For those who don't know, 100 is considered 'average,' which means that the Padres were awful at the plate last month. This month, things are looking up as the Padres have swept the Cincinnati Reds, and today they somehow managed to get 3 runs on a single. Rene Rivera blooped one to center that bounced off of Billy Hamilton's glove for a hit, and since all of the baserunners were going on contact, they were all able to score pretty easily. That's the Padres for you: Scoring 3 runs on a single.
On the other hand, the Blue Jays did things the old-fashioned way and scored 3 runs on a homer, except this one was a walk-off home run from Edwin Encarnacion that gave the Blue Jays a 7-4 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers. The dinger was Encarnacion's 26th of the season (tied with Nelson Cruz and Jose Abreu for the MLB lead in HRs), he's currently hitting .281/.370/.603 with 164 wRC+, and the Blue Jays are still in 1st place. It's a good time to be Edwin Encarnacion, and a better time to be associated with the Blue Jays in any way, shape, or form.