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Braves Daily News Digest: 9/28

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We've reached the end, and it appears that Justin Upton is trying to go out with a bang or 2.

Mitchell Leff
BRAVES NEWS

Uptons Have Historic Night In Victory Over Phillies

Justin Upton's already got 100 RBIs on the season, and now he's going to have one final shot at getting 30 HRs for the season as well after he hit his 29th homer of the season last night. His 2 run homer combined with a solo homer from his older brother B.J. Upton and a productive double play from non-Upton Brother Christian Bethancourt helped give the Braves a 4-2 victory. It was historic in that it was the first time in MLB history in which 2 brothers both had homers and outfield assists on the night. It's been a weird month for those 2, and last night was one of the more eventful nights that they've had in a while.

Wood Will Miss Season Finale

For those of you who were hoping to see Alex Wood pitch in a live game one last time before the season ended, there was a bit of disappointing news yesterday as the Braves decided to shut down Wood for the final game of the season due to elbow soreness. The good news is that the Braves and Wood himself aren't too concerned with the soreness and just attribute it to it being a long year for the youngster, but the bad news is obviously that we won't be seeing Wood pitch later today. I know this won't make up for it, but here's video of his 8 inning, 12 K performance against the Marlins back on August 31st. That was him at his peak this season, and hopefully this is a sign of further growth for Alex Wood.

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Gattis Will Play Today, But Is This His Last Braves Game?

After missing most of September's action with various illnesses, Evan Gattis will be making a rare start on Sunday. While his status for Sunday's game is certain, his status as an Atlanta Brave could be up in the air this offseason. With Christian Bethancourt becoming MLB ready, David O'Brien speculates as to whether or not El Oso Blanco could become expendable in the Winter. He also speculates that they could move Evan Gattis to Left Field, which is still the "Please don't do this. You guys don't have to do this. You really don't have to do this, y'all" option for the Braves.

Harang's Adjustments To Age Pay Off In 2014

Another player whose 2015 destination is in jeopardy is Aaron Harang. The journeyman only signed a 1-year deal with the Braves back in the Spring, but he definitely made the most of it by having a more productive season than pretty much anyone predicted. Harang recently spoke with David Lee of the Augusta Chronicle and said that it was all down to the adjustmenets that he was forced to make as he got older, as you see in the excerpt below:

In 2009, Harang began an effort to throw more two-seamers, which has sinking movement toward the feet of right-handed batters. His percentage with the pitch increased from 15 percent that year to 29 percent this season. He's thrown only 30 percent four-seamers this year.

"I threw a lot more four-seamers when I was younger," he said. "I had a coach show me how to throw a two-seamer, and I started doing it, and every year it seems to be more effective. Once you get used to throwing it and realize how key that pitch can be, you make those adjustments."

Wren's 3 Worst Moves According To MLB Daily Dish

Earlier this week, MLB Daily Dish decided to break down what they felt were Frank Wren's best 3 moves as General Manager of the Atlanta Braves. So it makes sense that now they're trying to identify what were Wren's 3 worst moves as GM. With that being said, they shouldn't be much of a surprise. 2 of those moves should be flat-out obvious.

MLB NEWS

Oakland Continues To Slump Their Way Into (And Maybe Out Of) October

Speaking of teams who are having a rough September, let's talk about the Oakland Athletics. They've gone from prohibitive World Series contenders to maybe sneaking in as a dark horse AL West champion to possibly backing into the 2nd Wild Card spot to maybe even missing the Postseason entirely. That's a distinct possibility after they lost yesterday to the Rangers and these next few scenarios go sideways for Oakland:

These are the four three ways to get through to the Wild Card game Tuesday:

  1. The Mariners lose to the Angels tonight.
  2. The A's beat the Rangers Sunday.
  3. The Mariners lose to the Angels Sunday.
  4. The A's beat the Mariners Monday.

Mariners Take AL Wild Card Race To Game 162 With Win Over Angels

Now as you can see in the quote box above, the Mariners did not lose to the Angels last night. They managed to beat the Angels 2-1 after 11 innings (thanks to a Fielder's Choice where Austin Jackson beat the throw to first base, allowing the runner from 3rd to score the walk-off run), and the Mariners have kept the AL Wild Card race alive to the final day. Again, if things continue to go off the rails for the A's like they have all month and Seattle continues to keep the magic going, we could see the Mariners steal a Postseason berth while the A's mourn one of the most disappointing collapses in recent memory (Don't bring up 2011. As far as I'm concerned, it never happened).

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