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Braves MiLB Recap: Dansby Swanson homers again

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Dansby Swanson homered but the Mississippi Braves fell in Mobile.

(20-22) Gwinnett Braves 6, (22-20) Charlotte Knights 8

Box Score

  • Ozzie Albies, SS: 2-5, 2B, 2RBI, .247/.286/.411
  • Rio Ruiz, 3B: 1-3, 2B, RBI, BB, .264/.342/.375
  • Ryan Weber, SP: 4 IP,  6 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 3 SO
Here comes Ozzie Albies! After struggling a lot in his first four games, .105/.105/.105 - especially with pitches inside, it's safe to say he has made those adjustments because since that Albies is hitting .314/.364/.549. He's been an extra base hit machine collecting eight of them over his last 14 games including a pair of homers. The strikeouts are up a tick but he's such a polished player that there's no reason to believe it will stay that way. I've had people ask me if he has the defense to get it done because they've watched him a couple of times and he wasn't good. The short answer: yes. The long answer: yes, it's very good. While the big league team struggled with middle infield defense you can't get much more sure-handed than Albies and Dansby Swanson. Ozzie will never have the body of someone like Rio Ruiz, but he barrels up so many balls that his slugging percentage is higher than people bigger than him.

Okay, back to the game. This was a wild one with Gwinnett going down early 4-0 in excruciating fashion: five singles, a steal, and a double with two of those runs being charged to David Peterson. The Braves answered back almost immediately after going down 4-0 with Ruiz, Kazmar, and Snyder all doubling in the bottom of the 5th to cut the lead in half at 4-2. The Knights tacked on three more runs in the 7th after David Peterson gave up a double, single, and 2-run homer. He was then replaced by Sean Burnett who has yielded just three hits since he signed with Atlanta.

Trying to keep things interesting Gwinnett scored a pair of runs in the 7th after Albies connected on double number 11 of the year scoring Brandon Snyder, and Anthony Recker. And then in the 8th, Recker hit his 3rd homer of the year to lessen the lead to 7-6. Unfortunately, that is as close as Gwinnett got as Matt Marksberry allowed a single run in the 9th and Gwinnett fell to the Knights 8-7.

Next Game: 5/20 vs Charlotte Knights @ 7:05 PM ET
Probable Pitchers
CHA: Anthony Ranaudo, 0-0 2.25 ERA
GWI: Lucas Sims, 0-3 6.39 ERA

(17-24) Mississippi Braves 2, (18-22) Mobile BayBears 7

  • Dansby Swanson, SS: 2-4, HR, R, RBI, .292/.386/.500
  • Jordy Lara, 1B: 2-4, 2B, .188/.247/.271
  • Andrew Thurman, SP: 3.1 IP, 5 H, 3 ER, 6 BB, 2 SO
This one was over from the start as Andrew Thurman was plagued by poor location throughout his start throwing just 37 strikes on 81 pitches and surrendering six walks in just over three innings. Like, Mauricio Cabrera had better control than him so that's all you need to know about the Thurman start. Things got off to a good start offensively as Swanson homered in the 1st to put the MBraves up 1-0. Thurman played with for the first three innings before getting shelled for five in the deciding 4th inning. That 4th inning consisted of: BB, WP, BB, 2B, (Thurman replaced by Burawa), 1B, BB, 1B, BB, BB. That is how Mobile scored five runs. Painful. There was no looking back for the BayBears as they tacked on two more in the 5th as Stephen Janas's scoreless streak ended at 15 2/3 innings. Levi Hyams hit his 2nd homer of the year in the top of the 8th but that is as close as Mississippi got falling 7-2.

Next Game: 5/20 vs Mobile BayBears @ 7:05 PM CT
Pitching Probables
MIS: Chris Ellis, 6-0 2.06 ERA

(16-23) Carolina Mudcats 5, (21-17) Potomac Nationals 4

  • Joey Meneses, 1B: 2-4 2B, RBI, BB, .326/.387/.489
  • Joseph Daris, LF: 1-2, 2BB, 3RBI, .214/.277/.272
  • Wes Parsons, SP: 4.1 IP, 6 H, 3 ER, 0 BB, 6 SO
A win! Hurray!

The Nationals got on the board early hitting three straight singles off of Wes Parsons in the 1st inning. Joseph Daris and the Mudcats countered that with a two-run single scoring Ryan Gebhardt, and Stephen Gaylor (who stole his 9th base of the season earlier) in the 2nd inning. We were tied 3-3 going into the 5th when a most unconventional run was scored. Keith Curcio struck out but got to 1st on a wild pitch. He advanced to 2nd on a single, took 3rd on a ground out by Joey Meneses, and scored a single by Gebhardt taking full benefit from the additional out the Nationals gave them. Curcio then walked again in the 7th, went to 2nd on a bunt by Reed Harper, and scored on a Meneses double which ended up being the game winning run.

Carlos Salazar picked up his 18th walk of the season (12 games), but again didn't yield a hit. He's an intriguing player because his arsenal is so good that no one can hit it, but he often misses his location which results in a bunch of walks. For the season, he has a 10.20 BB/9, 13.80 K/9, and 2.25 H/9. Evan Phillips came in and picked up his 5th save of the season. Phillips is limiting hitters to a .086 BAA, and has only walked 7 in 17 innings. He's a name you might see promoted soon as he has had just really one rough outing this year.

Next Game: 5/20 @ Wilmington Blue Rocks @ 7:05 PM ET
Pitching Probables
CAR: Chris Withrow, 1-3 4.05 ERA
WIL: Josh Staumont, 0-4 5.72 ERA

(16-24) Rome Braves 8, (18-22) Augusta Green Jackets 3

  • Luke Dykstra, 2B: 2-5, 2(2B), 2RBI, .316/.366/.391
  • Jonathan Morales, DH: 3-4 2B, RBI, R, .324/.349/.439
  • Bradley Keller, RF: 2-4 R, 2B, 3RBI, .198/.196/.365
  • Max Fried, SP: 5 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 4 BB, 4 SO
Rome put up two runs in the 1st and never trailed in the game. Jonathan Morales continues to light it up and I'm not sure why he's still there. With probably two of the best catchers in the organization one is either DH'ing or catching. I guess it works so that you can have Morales's bat in the lineup but it seems like you would want to see what kind of player you have in him. Luke Dykstra might be the hottest player in the organization collecting two more hits last night. Dykstra is hitting .391/.442/.500 over his last 10 games and is currently riding a six-game hitting streak. He's done well at every step in his development never having worse than a .691 OPS in his rookie year and could be working his way up the rankings a bit if he continues to hit. There's nothing about his game that stands out to you but he gets it done with what he has. 

Austin Riley has returned from an injury he suffered after being hit by a pitch. He went 0 for 4 with three strikeouts and collected his 8th error of the season. He's had his ups and downs but he's still relatively new to third so it's to be expected. After exploding for 12 homers last season in just 217 ABs, he has 3 in 136 ABs this year. The strikeouts are a bit of a problem as he has 49 already, but he's still just so young and so early in his development that I still take fairly little stock into it.

Also, here comes Lucas Herbert. After struggling a LOT at the plate it looks like he is starting to turn around his season. With two more hits tonight he's now hitting .295/.385/.409 in the month of May. Defensively he's everything you want in a catcher. He calls a great game, good framer, incredible arm. If he can have any semblance of an offensive game he is going to accelerate quickly through the system.

Finally, on to Max Fried. He had a rough go of it over his last two starts yielding 12 earned runs in 9.1 innings. He has struggled with walks, but he is coming back from TJ surgery and hasn't pitched in a couple of years. Yesterday we got a glimpse of what he can do despite not having his location. He walked four and gave up just one hit over five innings of work. He threw 85 pitches in which 47 of them were strikes. Personally, I can't wait to see him next year because he might rocket through the levels because his "stuff" is really, really good.

Next Game: 5/20 vs Augusta Green Jackets @ 7:00 PM ET
Pitching Probables
AUG: Cory Taylor, 2-0 2.36 ERA
ROM: Ricardo Sanchez, 2-3 4.24 ERA