Despite a wretched start to the game that saw Andrelton Simmons (of all people) commit 2 errors (!!!) and Aaron Harang get roughed up a bit, the Braves salvaged the game by ferociously attacking Diamondbacks pitching for the rest of the game on their way to their 9th straight victory. 5 runs in the 4th gave the Braves the lead and made it 7-3, and they eventually won it 10-3.
After spending most of the early part of this season hitting low in the order, Andrelton Simmons has admitted that he is definitely enjoying time hitting near the top of the order in the 2-spot. Simba's gone 15-46 in his time as the #2 hitter, and had one of his best days at the plate with a 4-RBI performance against the Diamondbacks yesterday (even though he had to leave the game early after a fall. He's day-to-day). Here's what Simmons had to say to David O'Brien about it:
"I feel like I’m more involved in the game hitting in the 2-hole...I’m just feeling more comfortable at the plate right now, seeing the ball well. And B.J.’s speed, it (helps) me get better pitches, and (having Freddie) Freeman behind me — I’m seeing better pitches. It’s been pretty good so far."
Even though Jason Heyward has managed to bring his batting numbers back to a respectable figures (Heyward's wRC+ is currently at 103, which is nearly as average as you can get), Heyward's had a rough go of it recently, as DOB notes that J-Hey has currently gone 5-40 over a 13 game stretch (not including yesterday). Even though it's been hard at the plate, things have never been better in the field, as Heyward continues to assert himself as a defensive stalwart in right field. This means that the Braves aren't super concerned with Heyward, since he contributes to many other facets of the game. From Greg Walker:
"But even when he’s not hot, he stills does things – takes a walk, steals a base, plays defense, runs the bases. He can put the ball in play when he needs to to get a run in. I don’t think Jason’s batting average is indicative of his value to our offense."
As good as Heyward has been on defense, that's how good Gattis has been on offense lately, and the Braves are hoping that the injured catcher will be able to return not too long after the All-Star break. Gattis will be re-evaluated in the next few days once the Braves see how he responds to the epidural that he endured on Wednesday, and depending on how Gattis reacts, it could mean that we could see Gattis on or near July 18th, which is when he'd be eligible to come off the disabled list.
Meanwhile, in extremely lighter news, we have a .gif for you from mlb.com's Cut4. It's of a fan who went to great lengths to get a foul ball. This anonymous fellow fan of ours made it very clear that if you want to succeed in a major league ballpark, then you have to give at least 100%. He gave 110%, with another 10% added on thanks to his acrobatics and tumbling skills, as you'll see below.
I can't stop watching this. Just as this guy deserves a medal for his graceful spill, whoever invented the .gif deserves a medal for enabling us to use that technology to watch grown men do this at baseball games. Whoever you are, you the real MVP.
LEAGUE WIDE NEWS
Matt Garza had his best stuff going yesterday, and as it turns out, the Brewers needed every ounce of that good stuff because Garza's complete game shutout against the Reds ended up being extremely important since the Brewers only scored 1 run. That 1 measly run scored way back in the 1st inning ended up being enough to win thanks to Garza's outstanding outing: 9 IP and 9 Ks with only 2 hits and 2 walks allowed. By the way, the Brewers are currently 52-36, 5 games ahead of the Cardinals in the NL Central.
Despite being down by only 1 run to the light-hitting San Diego Padres, the San Francisco Giants didn't look too good for most of the game, and it appeared that the Gants would continue to capitulate to the Dodgers' wishes. Then Michael Morse hit a game-tying no-doubt type of homer in the top of the 9th to tie it, and then Brandon Belt hit a 2-run homer in the 10th to help the Giants win it. The win kept the Giants within striking distance of the Dodgers by keeping San Francisco only 0.5 games behind, and Michael Morse's elation was obvious.