Many apologies for the lack of posting over the last week or so. No, it wasn’t the Braves poor play that had me avoiding writing about them, but life’s incessant need to throw curveballs, plus the hectic last minute planning that goes into a girl’s fourth birthday party. Hoping next week works out far better. This column was meant to be posted on Friday, but better late than never.
As the title suggests, this is the third week of simming the 2015 season. For more information about this series, click here for what this series is looking at. There is also links to the first two weeks below this paragraph. Atlanta enters week 3 at 5-4, good for a four-way tie for first place with Miami taking up residence in last place, a game back. We head to Toronto for three before opening a three-game set in New York against the Mets.
Juan Jaime (no DL) – Elbow soreness (return sometime during Mets series)
Nick Markakis (no DL) – Petellar tendinitis (might miss this week)
Mike Minor – Shoulder Discomfort (Might be ready for rehab assignment this week)
Christian Bethancourt – Post-concussion syndrome (Mid-May Return?)
Josh Outman – General Suckage (Mid-May Return?)
Daniel Winkler – Elbow Surgery (June/July Return?)
Shelby Miller – Torn back muscle (August Return?)
Shae Simmons – Elbow Surgery (Lost for Year)
April 17 at Toronto
Actual Result – ATL wins 8-7
OOTP Result – ATL loses 5-4 (11 innings)
One of the stark differences so far between the real club and the OOTP one is that the simming Braves really, really miss Craig Kimbrel at the end of the game. Cody Martin, who OOTP Fredi Gonzalez utilizes as a starter, threw seven pretty awesome innings. Jim Johnson got the game to Jason Grilli, but with two outs and a runner on first, Grilli gave up three consecutive hits, including a two-run double that tied up the game. Andrew McKirahan saved him from more trouble, but in the 11th, he gave up a one-out triple and after an intentional walk, Brandon Cunniff came in. He got a flyout, but couldn’t find the strikezone against either of the last two hitters, leading to a walk-off walk. It’s better when we get those.
April 18 at Toronto
Actual Result – ATL loses 6-5 (10 innings)
OOTP Result – ATL wins 5-4
It was scary again in the ninth. Grill entered with a 5-2 lead, but gave up a single and a homer to tighten up things considerably with the heart of the Jays’ order due up. OOTP Fredi went to Michael Kohn and like a stopper, Kohn came in, got a groundout, and struck out the final two he faced. Braves had fell behind 2-0, but that deficit was wiped out in the sixth when Kelly Johnson singled in two with the bases loaded. In the 8th inning, Jonny Gomes tripled in Cameron Maybin and scored on a double by Andrelton Simmons. Chris Johnson added what turned out to be the difference maker with a homer in the ninth – just the second homerun the Braves have hit so far.
April 19 at Toronto
Actual Result – ATL wins 5-2
OOTP Result – ATL wins 7-2
Braves take the series despite getting an 0-for-6 day out of the leadoff spot. Cameron Maybin had four hits, including a double and his first homer, and drove in three runs to increase his RBI output to four. Julio Teheran picked up his second complete game in as many starts, yielding a pair of solo homers, but walking just one and striking out seven. Simba had three hits, including two doubles, and Gomes had a pair of singles plus a pair of RBI.
April 20 – Idle. Juan Jaime should be ready for the Mets series, though Markakis will miss the series. On the plus side, Minor starts his rehab assignment this week. Unlike real Mike Minor, this one suffered no setbacks. He’ll get a couple of starts at Gwinnett and looking toward an early-May return.
April 21 at New York Mets
Actual Result – ATL loses 7-1
OOTP Result – ATL wins 6-2
Braves get their third win in a row and Trevor Cahill throws six quality innings for his first Braves win. Braves banged out 13 hits, led by Simba’s three hits and two doubles. He’s now hitting .314 and with three more ribbies today, he is up to nine. Braves never trailed in this game and took the early 2-0 lead after a half-inning against Jacob deGrom, who the real Braves have “fortunately” missed.
April 22 at New York Mets
Actual Result – ATL loses 3-2
OOTP Result – ATL wins 6-5
Cody Martin struggled, giving up four runs in five innings, but was still on pace for the win before a Jace Peterson error in the eighth led to an unearned run that tied up the game. But the Braves got to Alex Torres in the ninth. With one out, three consecutive singles by Eric Young Jr., Gomes, and Freddie Freeman led to a sixth run. Grilli had a quiet ninth for his third save. Before the eighth inning, the Braves had led the game since the second batter. That’s when Gomes hit a two-run homer. EYJ had singled in front of him and had a three-hit game to hopefully break out of his slump.
April 23 at New York Mets
Actual Result – ATL loses 6-3
OOTP Result – ATL wins 9-1
Much nicer to be doing the sweeping, Atlanta. Braves used a six-run ninth to turn the finale of the three-game set into a laugher. Before that, it was a great pitcher’s dual between Eric Stults and Matt Harvey. Yeah, that’s what I said. Braves scored three runs off Harvey over seven innings, but the Mets only got the one run off Stults over eight innings. In the ninth with Carlos Torres on the bump for the Mets, Jace got the ball rolling with a walk. After a single and a passed ball, CJ added on with an RBI single. EYJ added another RBI single to bring in Vic Black to stop the bleeding. He K’d Gomes, but gave up a base hit to Freeman to load them before Maybin took the first pitch he saw beyond the left-center wall for a Grand Slam that put things out of reach.
Actual Win-Loss Record – 2-4
OOTP Win-Loss Record – 5-1
Actual Win-Loss Record – 8-7 (4.5 GB)
OOTP Win-Loss Record – 10-5 (1.5 Games Up)
A Look Ahead – Braves finish what has so-far been a great road trip in Philly with three games. They will then head home for a lengthy home stand beginning with our first look at the Nats this year. We’ll also see the Reds in next week’s update as a four game set starts next Thursday.