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Braves Daily News Digest: 9/21

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Homer the Brave has clearly benefited from becoming a Jedi. Maybe the Braves (particularly their offense) need to adhere to the ways of the Force?

Kevin C. Cox

Braves Are Now Closer To 3rd Place Than Wild Card Spot

The freefall has continued, and there's no telling when it will stop. Last night, the Braves did indeed manage to score 2 runs, but it wasn't enough to beat the Mets, and now the Mets are 1.5 games behind the Braves for 2nd place. This is not the type of September race that you want to be in, but here are the Braves: Scuffling to finish over .500 and in 2nd place. What a year, man.

Minor Exits Early With Shoulder Discomfort

Remember when Mike Minor started off the season with a sore shoulder (thanks to lagging behind on preseason preparation due to surgery on his, um, nether region)? Well, it appears that he will be finishing the season just as he started it: On the sidelines with a sore shoulder. The lefty hurler only worked one inning last night before leaving the game, and he never had a chance to impact the game last night. It looks like this might be a frustrating end to an especially frustrating season for Minor.

Heyward Probably Won't Come Back Until Monday

Hooray, more injury news! This time it concerns Jason Heyward, who has missed 2 games after being hit on his left thumb during Wednesday's win over the "Nationals." The thumb injury doesn't appear to be serious, but it'll be a tedious if relatively quick recovery process for Heyward, which could see him come back by Monday.

The treatment plan for Heyward is to apply heat and ice to the injury and try to rub some of the swelling out. Beyond that, he said all he can do is wait it out.

"The tough thing about thumbs is once swelling gets in there, it takes longer than you'd like for it to go down," Heyward said. "It's not fun to sit down and watch. Again, all you can do is wait after you ice. That's where we're at."

Gattis "Relieved" With Kidney Stone Diagnosis, Returns As PH On Saturday

I said this earlier this week, but you know you're having one heck of a week when a kidney stone is considered a relief. That's the position that Evan Gattis was in, after he missed more games than he should have due to illness: First strep throat, then a undiagnosed illness that eventually became a kidney stone. The good news is that Gattis finally made his return last night as a pinch hitter. He might be coming back in the midst of a disastrous September for the team, but it willdefinitely be pleasing to see El Oso Blanco back on the field.

Charlotte Writer Laments The Poor Season For The Braves

One of the beautiful things about being a part of Braves Country is the fact that the geographical empire extends pretty far for Atlanta, to the point where the Braves are basically the local team in Charlotte, North Carolina. So naturally, one of the writers for CBS Charlotte (who also happens to be a fan) decided to give his thoughts on this absolute waste of a season. Surprise, surprise: He's not pleased. If you're a masochist, then here's a taste of what to expect if you click this:

...Contract extensions for the faces of the franchise such as Kimbrel, Freeman, and Tehran seemed to be the start of perhaps another 15 year run of October baseball in the making.

What we saw was one of the most inept offenses that has come down the pipe in a long time that could not ever match the pitching that on most nights was more than good enough to put up a W in the standings.

Hart Could Be Promoted In Braves Front Office During Offseason

It's no surprise that both Fredi Gonzalez and Frank Wren are currently feeling the heat from the big boys of Braves management, and their shortcomings could result in some big changes occurring in the front office, though for now the rumors are staying in-house. John Hart is currently a Senior Advisor for the Braves, and I think everybody knows what role John Schuerholz currently plays with the team. However, according to Dave O'Brien, both of those men could possibly have be given control over baseball operations during the offseason. The winds of change are blowing.

Peraza, Hursh Receive Minor League Honors From Braves

Well, here's a bit of positive news, and it come from the Minor League system: Jose Peraza and Jason Hursh were named as the Braves Minor League Player and Pitcher of the Year, respectively. The honor caps off what has been a fantastic season down on the farm for Peraza, while the 2013 draft pick Jason Hursh continues to impress in the minor league system. In case you missed it earlier this season, here's Jose Peraza stealing home. Here's hoping that we see this happen at the Major League level somewhere down the line in the future.

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Bucs Can't Pull Away From Brewers, Lose Chippy 1-0 Game

While the Pittsburgh Pirates have successfully left our Braves in the rear view mirror, one team that in that mirror that is still closer than they appear is the Milwaukee Brewers, who are using this series as an opportunity to truly make the race for the final Wild Card spot a true race. They needed a sweep to make things really interesting, but 2 out of 3 ain't bad, and the Brewers are on their way to making that happen after dropping Friday's game but winning a close 1-0 game in Pittsburgh.

Mariners Get Blown Out By Astros, Drop Crucial Game In AL Wild Card Race

Meanwhile on the Junior Circuit, the Seattle Mariners are currently a half-game behind the Kansas City Royals (who still have eyes on potentially stealing the AL Central from the Detroit Tigers (even if it's highly unlikely at this point)). They're a half game behind  because despite a Royals loss, the Mariners got dumptrucked by your 4th Place Houston Astros! 5 different players in blue-and-orange hit homers for the Astros, and this eventually led to Houston scoring 10 runs while holding the Mariners to just one run. However, the loss may not be a backbreaker beacuse...

A's Continue To Freefall, May Miss Playoffs Entirely

...the A's lost to the Phillies. More specifically, they lost to Jerome Williams (again), who set one of the weirdest records in baseball history last night when he became the first pitcher to ever record 3 wins over 1 team with 3 different teams. Remember when the A's were running away with the AL West and it seemed like they were well on their way to October baseball? Well, here they are: Only 0.5 games up on the Royals for the first Wild Card spot with the Mariners looming in the background. At least the Braves weren't the only team with postseason aspirations to go into an utter swoon in September.