Yesterday was an incredibly sad day in Braves history, as legendary announcer Pete Van Wieren died at the age of 69 after a long battle with cancer. What hasn't died and hopefully won't die for a very long time are the memories that Pete left with generations of Braves fans. One of the many guests on last night's game who shared memories of Pete with the Braves fans watching the game was Hall of Famer and Braves radio broadcaster Don Sutton. Sutton joined Chip Caray and Joe Simpson in the booth for the 3rd inning and if you were watching live, it was a tearjerker as Don shared some fond memories of his former colleague. Here's the top of the 3rd.
Mike Minor has been a hot mess lately. Since his start on June 10th in Colorado, Minor's ERA is 7.33 and his FIP is 5.34, with 12 homers given up and a 17.6% HR/FB%. That is abysmal, which is why the Braves have decided to take some action. Minor will be available from the bullpen as long relief, and his next start will come later this August against the Dodgers.
A familiar face returned to the lineup for the Braves last night in San Diego as Jason Heyward was back on the field after a 4-day absence due to a sore back. Jordan Schafer and Ryan Doumit replaced Heyward while he was out. The Braves got swept by the Dodgers and Schafer was DFA'd, so that oughta tell you how well those days went with Heyward out.
One night after giving up 10 runs to the worst offense in the National League, the Braves fell further into this decent sized hole that they've dug themselves in, as they were once again outhit by the Padres and their offense when it counted. In the top of the 12th inning, the Braves had the bases loaded with nobody out. A double play and a ground-out later, they scored no runs. In the bottom of the 12th (with Craig Kimbrel inexplicably nearing a career high (38) in pitch count), the Padres had the bases loaded with one out. A single from 68 wRC+ hitter Will Venable later, they scored. The Braves are bad right now, and they should feel bad.
Jon Lester's first start as a pitcher for the Oakland Athletics was a successful one, as he went 6.2 innings in a respectable effort that kept the Kansas City Royals at bay while Oakland's offense turned it up to the tune of 8 runs. However, the play of the day didn't come from Oakland's pitching or bats. Instead it came from another Oakland newcomer, OF Sam Fuld. Fuld uncorked an amazing throw to throw out Alex Gordon at home plate, back when the game was actually competitive.
When you open up the link above to go to catch Bluebird Banter's take on the Blue Jays' 8-2 loss to the Astros, you'll notice something is a bit strange about the picture that they used. It's a picture of Minute Maid Park, except the roof is open. For the first time since August 6th, 2004, the Astros played a home game "out in the elements," so to speak. The game on 8/6/04 was also an Astros win, and it also came against Canadian opposition, as the Astros beat the Montreal Expos that day. I repeat, the Expos were still around the last time the Astros played a home game with their roof open, and Montreal was the losing team at that!