The Braves avoided another sweep at the hands of the St. Louis Cardinals by pulling off a comeback in the late stages of Sunday's game as they pulled off a 6-5 victory. The 9th inning rally was capped with a bases-loaded walk of Jordan Schafer to tie the game, and a wild pitch while Ramiro Pena was at the plate gave the Braves a lead that Craig Kimbrel would not relinquish. The Braves will now head back to Atlanta to host the NL Central-leading Milwaukee Brewers in a 4-game series.
In a move that may foreshadow an even bigger move for the main roster, the Braves traded for infielder Ozzie Martinez. Martinez figures to be strictly organizational depth, while the fact that the Braves have traded for an infielder could indicate that another move could be made for the main roster, involving some infielders that we know about .
Dan Uggla made an unlikely return to the Braves lineup as he made the start in lieu of Tyler Pastornicky, who had to sit out Sunday's game with a sore calf. Naturally, Uggla went 0-3, which didn't help to quell the rumors that he may be on his way out of Atlanta very soon.
Dan Uggla was not the only player to make a reappearance in the starting lineup, as Jordan Schafer (he of the .125/.160/.208 batting line over 27 plate appearances before Sunday's game) returned to the lineup as Fredi Gonzalez wanted to give B.J. Upton some time off as his K% shot up to 35.2% for the season. Just like Uggla, Schafer went hitless in his start, but he did bring home the tying run by taking a bases-loaded walk, so it wasn't all calamities and train-wrecks.
One day away from the one-year anniversary of his Tommy John Surgery, Jonny Venters didn't have the best of sessions during his BP. In fact, Venters reported that he felt soreness in the same elbow. Venters is now expected to return around June or even the All-Star Break, instead of returning sometime before then.
Fangraphs took a look at one of the most befuddling facts of the 2014 season so far: Andrelton Simmons and his relatively rough start in the field, particularly this past week. Simmons hasn't been making absurdly ridiculous plays in the field as of late, and fangraphs took note of this in order to try to figure out why, and what effect it's having on the team. From the article:
The idea behind the expression is that defensive performance is stable. But it likely isn’t toward the extremes, because the extremes involve full-out dives and barehands and throws while falling away. It takes little time for routine defensive ability to stabilize. It takes a lot more time for extreme defensive ability to stabilize.
League Wide News
The Rockies beat the Padres by the score of 8-6, but the biggest highlight of the day (other than a walkoff to win the game) was a triple play turned by the Rockies, with the help of an interference call on Seth Smith. Amazingly, this was only the third time in Major League history that a triple play occurred with help from an interference call.
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Gio Gonzalez had a rough outing on Saturday, and it was his second consecutive troubled start. Unfortunately, the underlying issue that caused the lack of control was "shoulder inflammation," and Gonzalez is now headed to the 15-Day DL. This is yet another injury problem for the Nats, who are having trouble taking advantage of the Braves' struggles at the top of the NL East.
Jose Abreu has been as good as advertised and then some for the Chicago White Sox, hitting .260/.312/.595 with 15 HRs and 142 wRC+. However, it looks like the fiery start for the extremely talented rookie 1B will be coming to an abrupt halt, as the White Sox have placed Abreu on the 15-Day DL with tendonitis in his ankle.
The Kansas City Royals beat the Baltimore Orioles 8-6 with Alex Gordon hitting two home runs to help lead the way to victory for the Royals. Also, the game was notable because both teams honored Negro League teams with their uniforms, as the Royals wore Kansas City Monarchs uniforms, while the Baltimore Orioles dressed in Baltimore Black Sox uniforms.
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>Who wore their Negro Leagues throwbacks better? The <a href="https://twitter.com/Orioles">@Orioles</a> or <a href="https://twitter.com/Royals">@Royals</a>? <a href="http://t.co/oyZJglc1cP">pic.twitter.com/oyZJglc1cP</a></p>— MLB (@MLB) <a href="https://twitter.com/MLB/statuses/468118791784644610">May 18, 2014</a></blockquote>
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