Tyrell Jenkins went into tonight’s game looking to bounce back from an awful start at Colorado and a rough start against the Reds. Apparently, pitching at Turner Field must have been the solution, because the Phillies were only able to get one run past the Braves tonight as Atlanta won 2-1.
Jenkins kicked off tonight’s start with a walk, and that seemed like an ominous sign since walks played a huge role in what turned his last start into a mess. He did end up issuing four free passes on the night, but the difference is that he managed to escape trouble whenever he got into it, and the first inning was an example of this. The Phillies were able to move the leadoff runner into scoring position, but Jenkins was able to work through the trouble and exit the first inning with no runs allowed.
After escaping the second inning by leaving two runners stranded, Jenkins was unable to get out of the third inning unscathed. That was when Odubel Herrera cashed in a leadoff single from Cesar Hernandez — with help from Jace Peterson literally booting the ball that was hit into left field — to put the Phillies in the lead.
Meanwhile, the Braves squandered a scoring opportunity of their own in the second inning, but they were able to make good on it in the next frame. With runners on first and second and one out, Gordon Beckham picked up where he left off last time at Turner Field against Vince Velasquez by hitting a ground ball right up the middle of the diamond for an RBI single. After Freddie Freeman made the second out of the inning, Nick Markakis poked one into right field to bring in Jace Peterson from second base to put the Braves in the lead.
From that point forward, the onus was on Tyrell Jenkins and the rest of the Braves to make that lead stick, and after Jenkins managed to get out of a bases-loaded jam in the fourth inning, Atlanta was able to do just that. Jenkins retired the final six batters he faced in order, and he eventually exited the game with four hits allowed, four strikeouts, and four walks over six innings. The walks are still a bit of an issue, but I’d say that that’s a better line that what he put up in Denver, right?
The Braves proceeded to call upon the bullpen trio of Ian Krol, Mauricio Cabrera, and Jim Johnson to close out the final three innings. Krol retired the side with three straight ground-outs in the seventh inning, Cabrera stranded a runner at second base by pushing a 102-mph heater past Cameron Rupp to end the top of the eighth inning, and Jim Johnson managed to overcome the reanimated corpse of Ryan Howard hitting a deep double to finish off the job in the ninth inning and give the Braves the victory on the evening.
Tyrell Jenkins definitely wasn’t dominant tonight, but he did well enough to keep the Braves in the lead and eventually help them pick up a win. At this point, that’s really all you can ask for from the rookie, and hopefully he’ll be able to build on this and keep on improving going forward. Plus, beating a divisional rival is always fun and never gets old, right?