Well, I would get used to this, because you’ll probably be seeing a lot more of this. Depleted through trades, injuries, and Aaron Blair not being any good, the Braves’ rotation is one TBD after another. Rob Whalen made his major league debut, and it was not pretty at the start: fly out, single, fly out, hit by pitch, homer, single, walk, walk, wild pitch, strikeout. After giving up 4 runs in the first, he settled down very nicely and threw 4 scoreless innings, retiring 9 of the last 10 hitters he faced. He doesn’t throw hard. While I think he hit 91 to start the game, he was mostly in the 88-89 range. He did throw 98 pitches, so he may be durable enough to give enough innings to see what he’s got. With the Braves’ rotation issues, I’d imagine he’ll get a few starts.
The bats did come alive, however. The ghost of Erick Aybar had three hits, including an RBI triple, and Ender Inciarte added another three hits as well. Ender is starting to come alive, as heâs had a .365/.407/.405 line in his last 20 games. Don’t be deceived, but Aybar himself has had a short little hot streak: .467/.514/.567 in his last 10 games. There wasn’t any home run power in this game, but there were 5 doubles and a triple, and Anthony Recker, who went 2-4, missed a home run by about a foot.
I’m not sure what the numbers say, but the pen has been a true strength for the Braves this year, and there’s a confidence that if the Braves have a lead late, they’ll keep it. Ian Krol, Mauricio Cabrera, Chris Withrow, and Jim Johnson all had scoreless innings without a single walk given up. The Braves really have something there, and there’s more help on the way.
Snitker is now 29-41 since he took over, which would be a 67-win pace if he started the year. If he had this team for an entire year, we’d be in a lot better shape than we are now. We’re 19-23 since June 15th, so things are moving up… slightly.