For the second straight night, the starting pitcher for the Braves got shellacked by the Marlins' offense. This time it was Aaron Harang, whose microscopic ERA of 0.85 ballooned to 2.97 after all 9 of the Marlins' runs were credited as earned runs on Harang's record. Meanwhile, the Braves offense did not get going until the 9th inning, which is when Justin Upton hit his 8th HR of the season. Before that, the only offense came from a sac fly from David Hale. Seriously.
Speaking of Hale, he made his debut from the bullpen last night, pitching 2.1 innings with 2 strikeouts last night. In the meantime, our very own Ian Morris wrote a piece on Hale in an effort to let you know what to expect from the young righty as he shifts from the rotation to the bullpen.
One of the more intriguing fanposts recently came from user pat rocket, who took a close look at the "exciting" manner in which the Braves have been winning games not only lately, but since last season as well. The main quesiton is this: Have the games been "too exciting," and can the Braves continue to keep up the rate of success that they've had in these games?
In a great article for Sports Illustrated, Ben Reiter takes a look at how two central figures of the Braves (Jason Heyward and Freddie Freeman) took two extremely different paths to the lofty position that they currently hold in the Braves' organization. As we all know, Heyward had a big time hype machine going for him as he plied his craft on the farm, but the article also takes a look at how Freddie Freeman emerged from relative obscurity to become the leader in the clubhouse.
As news came out that Gavin Floyd would be joining up with the Braves later this week, CBS's Matt Snyder makes note of the fact that the Braves have stumbled into a starting pitching surplus, which, of course, is surprising considering the circumstances that caused the Braves to come into this surplus. Although the pitching has begun to slow down, the Braves are still extremely deep at that position, which is nothing but a positive going forward.
If you haven't noticed, Jason Heyward is beginning to get things right at the plate. He went 2-4 last night, and judging by what he told Mark Bowman, he's definitely feeling confident and is beginning to show it at the plate as well:
"You just have to be consistent with your timing and work in the right direction," Heyward said. "You've got to keep it simple and keep going from there. The only way to get it is to go out there and keep putting up good at-bats. I do feel like it's getting closer. "
Going into yesterday's games, the Braves were holders of the lowest starting rotation ERA in baseball. The second best team? The Oakland Athletics. According to Rob Neyer (and anybody who follows baseball seriously), this was not supposed to be the case for either team, yet here we are. Neyer also makes sure to note that this era of good fortune probably won't last, and that the bats for both teams need to heat up.
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It was a quick, easy, and successful game for our old friend Tim Hudson in San Francisco, as the Giants cruised to a 3-2 victory that wasn't as close as the final score indicated. Hudson went 8.2 innings and nearly pitched a complete game in under 90 pitches, which, as Grant Brisbee pointed out in the recap, is pretty rare. Plus, Ol' Huddy had the sinker going last night, as evidenced by the gif from @PitcherGifs.
Yesterday, the Los Angeles Dodgers joined select company in the baseball world, as the 6-4 win over the Minnesota Twins ended up being win #10,000 in Dodgers franchise history. As it turns out, there's a bit of confusion among baseball historians as to whether or not it was legitimately the big 10k for LA, but the Dodgers' organization is claiming it is, so the rest of the baseball world is running with it. Either way, it's a good day to be a fan of the franchise that brought us Jackie Robinson, Tommy LaSorda, the whole "Wait Til Next Year" thing, and this moment:
Chicago Cubs legend Ernie Banks was rightfully honored by the Cubs organization during the 100th Anniversary celebration of Wrigley Field last week. However, the legendary Mr. Cub was disappointed when it turned out that Sammy Sosa wasn't there to partake in the festivities. Therefore, Banks has now taken it upon himself to try to ease the hostilities between the two parties so that Sosa can become a welcome figure in the North side of Chicago.
Last Saturday, Brewers shortstop Jean Segura was the victim of a freak accident, the type of which you'd only see in a game like Out Of The Park Baseball for PC: While Ryan Braun was warming up, he smacked Jean Segura right in the noggin with his bat. Segura got plastic surgery earlier this week, and yesterday, he was back on the field for the Brewers, who will be going into May with the best record in baseball. Segura's off to a slow start at the plate (.244/.277/.344, 1 HR, 5 steals) and surely getting mollywhopped by accident by one of his teammates couldn't help things.