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Atlanta Braves Minor League Recap: Pitching Dominates

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Tyrell Jenkins was on point for the Gwinnett Braves on Tuesday.

Tyrell Jenkins

(23-23) Gwinnett Braves 3, (16-30) Norfolk Tide 2

Box Score

  • Adonis Garcia, LF: 1-3 R, .353/.413/.632
  • Tyrell Jenkins, SP: 6.0IP, 4H, 2ER, 2BB, 9K, 3.02 ERA
  • Chris Withrow, CL: (S,5) 1IP 0H 0R 0BB 1K, 0.00 ERA

If it wasn't for Tyrell Jenkins this would have been one of the most boring games I've ever watched with both teams totaling four extra base hits.

This was easily the most dominant I've ever seen Jenkins on the mound. He worked at an extremely quick pace agreeing with nearly every pitch catcher Anthony Recker threw down. He continued to get on top of his pitches and pitch downwards so the ball continued to go down throughout the distance it traveled inducing six really weak grounders to middle infielders. What really blew me away was the number of bats the man was missing. He was locating his fastball especially well yesterday afternoon, and the curve was as dynamic as I've seen it. His only blemish was against one particular player - Mike Yastrzemski who had the two lone extra base-hits that Jenkins surrendered. Other than him, eight hitters collected a total of two singles. This continues to be the trend with Jenkins, because when you look at his batter results breakdown they are dominated by groundouts (46), singles (39), strikeouts (36). He's a contact pitcher and the adjustments he's made to pitch more downhill this season are really coming to fruition. I spoke to him about what made him so effective last night and he had this to say

"Yeah we always are" on Jenkins relationship with Recker being 'on' last night, and that they made some adjustments to his curveball making it "tighter and more natural spin with my arm motion." It worked.

It could be maddening to watch Tyrell pitch with the current defensive infield Atlanta boasts, but with the soon graduation of Rio Ruiz, Ozzie Albies, and Dansby Swanson to go along with Mallex Smith, and Ender Inciarte it really helps paint a rosy picture for Jenkins.

Chris Withrow came in for his 9th appearance for Gwinnett. He's given up 3 hits over 8.1 innings, has a 0.00 ERA and 0.84 WHIP in AAA and is a perfect 5-for-5 in saves. He will be back in Atlanta soon.

The offense was really boring. The deciding inning went as such: Adonis Garcia reached on error, went to third following a Lalli double, scored on a Ruiz sacrifice fly, Mustelier doubled in Lalli, Bonifacio singled in Mustelier. That's it. That was all of the runs scored for Gwinnett. I watched two hour game for that. At least it was only two hours.

(23-24) Gwinnett Braves 1, (17-30) Norfolk Tide 2

Box Score

  • Adonis Garcia, LF: 1-4 2B, R, .353/.413/.632
  • John Gant, SP: 6.0 IP, 7H, 1R, 0ER, 0BB, 9K, 2.48 ERA
  • Ryan Weber, RP: 1.0 IP, 1H, 0R, 3.27 ERA

Lets get the offense out of the way real quick. As boring as it was in Game 1 of the double header it was even more boring in Game 2. Gwinnett scored after Adonis Garcia doubled, was moved over to third on a Mustelier single, and brought home on a Brandon Snyder single. After that happened in the 2nd we had: one walk in the 4th, two walks and a single in the 6th, and a single in the 8th.

It was a tough loss for Matt Marksberry to pick up as he came in allowed one single by Mike Yastrzemski and was taken out. Yastrzemski then stole a base off of Jose Ramirez and then scored on a single by Dariel Alvarez.

On the positive side of things John Gant was pretty much as dynamic as you can imagine joining in on the strikeout parade that Jenkins started earlier in the day. Gant finished with a season-high nine strikeouts. He has been great as a starter for Gwinnett and hopefully the Braves actually decide on what they want him to do. His numbers in Gwinnett: 3-0 2.97 ERA and 1.128 WHIP to go along with a 10K/9 strikeout rate.

Next Game: 5/25 @ Norfolk Tide @ 12:05 PM ET

Pitching Probables

GWI: Sims, 0-3 5.46 ERA

NOR: Miranda, 1-3 3.54 ERA

(17-26) Carolina Mudcats 2, (25-19) Myrtle Beach Pelicans 3 in 14 Innings

Box Score

  • Keith Curcio, CF: 3-7 RBI, .277/.352/.387
  • Joseph Odom, DH: 2-3, BB, .272/.333/.427
  • Enderson Franco, SP: 7.0 IP, 3H, 2ER, 0BB, 7K, 5.48 ERA

Carolina scored all of their runs on groundout and wild pitch. It was bad for pretty much all 14 innings. Braxton Davidson, Jordan Edgerton, Joseph Daris, and Erison Mendez combined to go 2-for-21 with 10 strikeouts.

After that horrific start of the season for Enderson Franco, 2IP 12H 9ER 1K, he has really buckled down and been an effective pitcher for Carolina with a 3.89 ERA while collecting 3 wins. He's been able to eat innings of late including 7 more last night so he's been doing his job well since that first game. He allowed a 2 run homer in the 1st and those were the only runs surrendered by the Carolina staff until the 14th when Ian Happ scored on a Daniel Lockhart single to center. The trio of Carlos Salazar, Evan Phillips, and Chase Johnson-Mullins were very effective logging 5 innings and allowing just 1 hit while striking out 5.

Next Game: 5/25 vs Myrtle Beach Pelicans @ 7:00 PM ET

Probable Pitchers

CAR: Parsons, 0-0 4.73 ERA

MB: Leal, 5-2 3.93 ERA

(17-28) Rome Braves 1, (28-17) Hickory Crawdads 3

Box Score

  • Leudys Baez, LF: 2-3 R, .229/.325/.229
  • Max Fried, SP: 6.0 IP, 6H, 3ER, 3BB, 4K, 4.98 ERA
  • Dalton Geekie, SP: 1.0IP, 1H, 5.32 ERA

I had a relief pitcher listed on the top performers for Rome last night because that is how last night went. Max Fried struggled early giving up 3 runs in the 1st (single, single, SBx2, single, single, single), and then shut down the Crawdads in the following 5 innings. Max is still struggling a bit with command (4.82 BB/9), but with this being his first year back from TJ surgery this is not remotely surprising. He can get it up there hitting 97 at times on radar gun so that's all that really matters. We've talked about him a lot and his incredibly dynamic curveball that he boasts. I'm most excited about him over the second half of the season and especially the 2017 season - could see him being a very fast riser then.

After the first inning Hickory didn't really mount any offensive threat with Max pitching a great final 5 frames and then Chad Sobotka along with Dalton Geekie shut them down the final two innings.

Offensively, yuck. One extra basehit by Yeudi Grullon, eight strikeouts, and two walks. Rome has been hit hard by the injury bug and it's showed up in the box score with the team really struggling to score runs. With Yepez on the DL they brought in Carlos Castro to play 1st, and with Ronald Acuna still hurt Baez was brought into play left with Didder switching to center and unfortunately Baez hasn't hit particularly well though he's just 19 and a really intriguing prospect (.554 OPS through 10 games).

Next Game: 5/25 @ Hickory Crawdads @ 10:30 AM ET

Probable Pitches

ROM: Sanchez, 2-4 5.55 ERA

HIC: Swanson, 3-0 2.04 ERA