Mike Minor appears to have found his form as the Atlanta Braves defeated the San Francisco Giants for the first time this season and posted their sixth shutout of the year. The southpaw who recorded his first win of the season shut down a powerful lineup and only gave up three hits in 6.2 shutout innings. The five run outpour marked only the second time this month that they Braves have scored that many runs in a game. The win improves their record to 22-16 on the season and boosts their lead over the Nationals to 2.5 games.
As Dan Uggla continues to ride the pine, sitting for a sixth straight game, the Braves are experimenting at second base and trying to find their most reliable everyday starter. Tyler Pastornicky is being given that opportunity now and he went 1-for-3 with a run scored in the victory on Tuesday night. He also broke an 0-for-27 streak at the plate by the team's starters at second base. Tommy La Stella remains on the radar, but there is no sign on whether or not the big league club will give him a call up anytime soon. For the time being Pastornicky will receive more starts than Ramiro Pena.
As long as the success continues on the pitching mound Fredi Gonzalez will continue to deploy a six-man starting rotation at least through next week. When the Braves skipper wishes to go back to five starters Alex Wood will be sent to the bullpen for a good stretch it appears, as the team wants to be careful with his innings this season. Through the team's last 27 games they have been boosted in a big way by their starting pitchers who have thrown 22 quality starts, a category they lead all of baseball in along with many other categories.
While Ryan Doumit has had a few big hits off the bench this season the backup players have been very ineffective this season. One solution according to Ben Duronio of TC is to cut Jordan Schafer and call up either Joey Terdoslavich or Tommy La Stella. While Schafer possesses speed, as we saw earlier in the season in full force on a walk-off hit and run winner, he doesn't offer much more than that. The slip in the locker or send down may come soon for the 27-year old who once had an opportunity to be an everyday starter for the Braves.
While a win or loss most of the time doesn't come down to one player who makes a mistake, an exception to Bill Buckner, Freddie Freeman put the blame on himself for an error he made in Monday night's 4-2 loss to the Giants. He didn't let his team down at all last night putting forth a 2-for-4 night with two runs and two runs batted in. He leads the team this season with 23 RBIs and is on pace for close to 100 RBIs for the second straight season in a row. Don't forget to vote for him and your other favorite Braves for the 2014 All Star Game in Minneapolis.
The Miami Marlins have taken a huge blow as they will be without ace Jose Fernandez for the rest of the season as an MRI confirmed he has a torn elbow ligament. Despite a poor start in his last outing against the Padres, the Cuban sensation had been electric on the mound and lots of fun to watch. The 21-year old pitcher had put up a 4-2 record with a 2.44 ERA and his 70 strikeouts are tied for first in baseball with Stephen Strasburg and David Price. Like Strasburg, he will also have to undergo an operation that young hard-throwing pitchers are becoming all too familiar with. It was almost something that couldn't be avoided according to FOX Sports Florida's writer Christina De Nicola, as she writes in her article.
If you think Yasiel Puig or Carlos Gomez have over the top post home run antics there is another baseball player that tops all bat flips. Watch as Hong Sung-heon flips his bat sky high in his multi home run game for the Doosan Bears.
The bold prediction of the day is that Rafael Montero will beat the New York Yankees in the Bronx tonight and hand Masahiro Tanaka his first loss of the season. The Mets are continuing their youth movement on the mound as they also called up Jacob deGrom. Our friends at Amazin' Avenue ranked Montero as the organizations third top prospect and many have raved about his elite control (2.0 BB/9) over his first three minor league seasons. In eight Triple-A starts he was 4-1 from the hill with a 3.67 ERA and 41 strikeouts in 41.2 innings. deGrom was ranked No. 15 on their Top 25 preseason list.
Ryan Braun went 0-for-2 and drew a walk in his return to the Milwaukee Brewers lineup after missing 14 games. The Brew Crew won 5-2 over the Pittsburgh Pirates and have improved their MLB best record to 25-14 on the season.
Chris Parmelee hit his first home run of the season at just the right time, as his two-run shot off of Andrew Miller gave the Minnesota Twins a walk-off 8-6 win over the Boston Red Sox on Tuesday night.
If the Cortisone injection that Carlos Beltran received on Monday night does not ease the pain he will undergo surgery that would put him on the DL. In case your forgot the Yankees have a lot of old men, well rather middle-aged, on their team with six players that were born in the 1970's. The Braves only have one regular in Aaron Harang that can match up with some of the old timers. Gerald Laird has veteran status too.
Hisashi Iwakuma continues to pitch masterfully, but Fernando Rodney could not against his former team.The Rays staged a ninth inning comeback and had five runners reach base and plated two to go on to win 2-1. David Price pitched the complete game and recorded a dozen strikeouts. Iwakuma received a no decision while pitching eight innings of shutout baseball and only laboring through 97 pitches. Strange to think they didn't let him try to go the distance.