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Braves MiLB Recap 6/2: Newcomb stars in rough day for bats

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MLB: Spring Training-Detroit Tigers at Atlanta Braves Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

(25-29) Gwinnett Braves 0, (23-32) Durham Bulls 3

Box Score

  • Casey Kelly, SP: 7.0IP 6H 3R 0BB 1K, 2.82 ERA
  • Lucas Harrell, RP: 1.0IP 0H 0R 0BB 1K, 4.50 ERA

It was a night to forget offensively for Gwinnett as they struggled mightily against a dominant Austin Pruitt. Jace Peterson, Sean Kazmar, and Blake Lalli were the only 3 to register a hit for Gwinnett and they were all singles in separate innings. It was just a dominant night for the Bulls on the mound. With Brandon Snyder, the hottest hitter on Gwinnett, now in Atlanta the offense struggled to mount any kind of threat against the Bulls. With Snyder in Atlanta, Ozzie having an up and down season, and Rio now possibly hurt (has not played past couple of games) there is very little threat in this Gwinnett offense and it showed last night.

On the other side of things Casey Kelly returned to Gwinnett and did well. After some questionable use in Atlanta (started, had a side session 3 days later and then threw 70+ pitches that same night) I was a little worried about taxing his arm but he showed no signs of overuse. Kelly needed just 77 pitches to go 7 innings and looked good against everyone not named Jaff Decker who homered off of him twice. It's been an impressive year for Kelly who appears to be sitting in the purgatory that is quality AAAA player. Lucas Harrell, who I thought was going to take a starting spot from Tyrell, came in out of the pen so I have absolutely no idea what is going on in Gwinnett as they shuttle in journeyman like Harrell, Kelly, and Texeira while converting a promising starting pitching prospect into a reliever.

Next Game: 6/3 @ Durham Bulls @ 7:05 PM ET

Probables

GWI: Banuelos, 0-0 2.45 ERA

DUR: Wilk, 1-6 3.22 ERA

(24-29) Mississippi Braves 7, (30-23) Biloxi Shuckers 4

Box Score

  • Sean Newcomb, SP: 6.0IP 2H 1R 3BB 7K, 3.47 ERA
  • Jacob Schrader, 1B: 2-4 HR, 2RBI .211/.278/.367
  • Dian Toscano, RF: 2-4 2B, RBI .236/.312/.300

This was my first time watching Newcomb and I don't know if it was because he and Kennelly were just on the same page, or if it always does this but the man worked furiously on the mound. He rarely shook off his catcher and wanted the ball in his hand nearly right after he threw a pitch and man he was good last night. He had the full arsenal working keeping batters completely off balance. Thanks to walks and some porous defense Newcomb went down 1-0 in the first despite not allowing a hit. I have to admit I was hoping he could go the distance and lose 1-0 despite throwing a no-hitter but after cruising through 5 he finally allowed consecutive singles with 2 outs in the 6th but ended the threat by getting Victor Roache to line out to Toscano. Newcomb has had his ups and downs, mainly in the form of walks, this season but you can easily see why he's the Braves top pitching prospect. There is a lot to like about his game.

Offensively, in a game where Dansby was off and you find yourself wondering where the offense will come from, everyone but Kennelly registered a hit including Newcomb. Mississippi put up a crooked number following bases clearing single by Toscano who had the ball go under the left fielders glove and allowed everyone to score and Toscano to move to 3rd. Jacob Schrader, who just hasn't been the same since the bus crash in Carolina last year, hit his 5th homer of the year but the sluggers slugging percentage on the year still just sits at .367 on the year. When you look at the averages in the box score for Mississippi you just wonder how they win any games but props to them for managing to stay near .500 on the season.

Next Game: 6/3 @ Biloxi @ 7:10 PM CT

Probables

MIS: Whalen, 3-4 3.04 ERA

BIL: Ortega, 0-4 3.88 ERA

(21-30) Carolina Mudcats 0, (20-34) Winston-Salem Dash 8

Box Score

  • Ryan Gebhardt, 2B: 3-4, .289/.348/.355
  • Max Povse, SP: 5.0IP 9H 4ER 2BB 4K

Gebhardt and Michael O'Neal were the only good things to happen for Carolina in this game. Povse had the rare struggling start and allowed 9 hits over 5 innings after being one start removed from a 10 strikeout game. He allowed a run in 4 out of the 5 innings he pitched and really struggled with his command throwing just 51 strikes on 91 pitches. Still, despite the 4 earned runs Povse (pronounced Posey - I just learned that) has had a great year posting a sub 3 ERA and 1.15 WHIP. Not bad for a guy that was considered a bit over-drafted because of his mechanical issues at UNC Greensboro. He was a 3rd round pick despite being a 6'8" starting pitcher that can hit 98 on the radar gun. Whatever the Carolina coaching staff has done this year needs to be praised because he looks like a steal in the 3rd round right now.

The offense, on the other hand, struggled with just about everything. I kind of just wanted to put Gebhardt as the lone representative on the box score because he was the only one to do anything on offense. Gebhardt went 3-for-4 while the rest of the lineup went 0-for-25 with 11 Ks. Dash starting pitcher Matt Cooper just absolutely dominated everyone not named Gebhardt and there's nothing really to add. He's also been on a bit of a tear recently as he has hit .407/.393/.556 over his last 7 games and is having his best season since 2014 (which okay, not that long ago) where he had a .809 OPS.

Next Game: 6/3 @ Winston-Salem @ 7:00 PM ET

Probables

CAR: Clark, 0-5 6.38 ERA

WS: Lowry, 3-4 4.75 ERA

(20-33) Rome Braves 0, (22-31) Lexington Legends 0

Postponed due to rain and will be made up in the form of a double-header today.

Probables

Game 1 (5:35 PM ET)

ROM: Weigel, 2-3 3.42 ERA

LEX: Blewett, 3-4 4.09 ERA

Game 2

ROM: Sanchez, 3-4 5.23 ERA

LEX: Pinto, 1-2 9.43 ERA