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The Braves opened May with four wins in six games, pushing their record to 19-9. Clearly, this version is having a better year, but why? The Braves have found a way to plate the second most runs in the NL heading into this week’s slate of games. They are doing that basically because of getting a wealth of baserunners pushing runs across rather than getting extra base hits, which they are currently 13th in. They have also utilized their speed with 26 steals in 28 games. Plus, the pitching has been tremendous. The struggles of Trevor Cahill in real life aren’t showing up in OOTP. The Braves will open a ten-day, nine-game road trip this week and look to continue their success on the road that has seen them start 9-3 away from Atlanta.
Injury Report Josh Outman – General Suckage (Late-May Return?)
Christian Bethancourt – Post-concussion syndrome (Early June Return?)
Daniel Winkler – Elbow Surgery (June/July Return?)
Shelby Miller – Torn back muscle (August Return?)
Shae Simmons – Elbow Surgery (Lost for Year)
May 8 at Washington
Actual Result – ATL loses 9-2
OOTP Result – ATL loses 3-0
A bit hard to win when you don’t score. Braves managed just four singles in this one in support of Alex Wood, who pitched into the seventh with 9 K’s. Brandon Cunniff got Wood out of a bases loaded jam, but gave up a third run to the Nats in the 8th.
May 9 at Washington
Actual Result – ATL loses 8-6
OOTP Result – ATL loses 1-0 (10 ING)
So far, this series in Washington isn’t going so hot. Braves finish with five hits, including a Jonny Gomes double, but have no answer for either Gio Gonzalez, nor Aaron Barrett. Cody Martin was excellent and Luis Avilan was solid, too. Jim Johnson worked a quiet ninth, but in the tenth, three consecutive singles ended the game.
May 10 at Washington
Actual Result – ATL loses 5-4
OOTP Result – ATL loses 8-5
Like the real Braves, the OOTP Braves gets swept right out of Washington. Atlanta never led during the series and Mike Minor‘s follow-up to his season debut went poorly. Jace Peterson was a bright spot as he doubled twice to drive in two and up his average to .271. Andrelton Simmons also had a pair of singles.
May 11 at Cincinnati
Actual Result – ATL wins 2-1
OOTP Result – ATL loses 1-0 (11 ING)
The losing streak reaches five and the Braves also lose Kelly Johnson to shoulder tendinitis. Six hits were all the Braves could muster and only a double by Simmons went for extra bases. Jason Grilli also left with an undisclosed injury so hopefully, he won’t be lost for significant time. In the meanwhile, KJ was DL’d and because I want to do the Bravesiest thing, Pedro Ciriaco was called up. To his credit, Ciriaco was hitting at Gwinnett to the tune of .306/.327/.531.
May 12 at Cincinnati
Actual Result – ATL loses 4-3
OOTP Result – ATL loses 3-1
Yikes, will we win again? Despite multi-hit performances from Nick Markakis and Yenier Bello, the Braves only plate one run. Trevor Cahill was solid, but with the way the offense is going, you have to be perfect just to force extra innings. In addition, Jason Grilli’s diagnosis came back with miserable results. Elbow inflammation. He’ll be back sometime this summer. Things are getting ugly on this road trip. Donnie Veal was called up to replace him. Jim Johnson would likely assume closing duties.
May 13 at Cincinnati
Actual Result – ATL loses 5-1
OOTP Result – ATL wins 8-5
The six game slide comes to a close as Jace Peterson drives in five runs from the 8 spot with a three hit game. Both Cameron Maybin and Simba scored a trio of runs and Alex Wood got into the act with a two-run double as well. He also pitched into the eighth before faltering. Jim Johnson gave up a hit and struck out one for his third save.
May 14 – IDLE
Actual Win-Loss Record – 1-5
OOTP Win-Loss Record – 1-5 (2nd straight perfect match-up)
Actual Win-Loss Record – 15-19 (4.5 GB)
OOTP Win-Loss Record – 20-14 (0.5 game up)
A Look Ahead – The Braves finish up their road trip with three in Miami. This series has added meaning as the Marlins a half-game out and actually moved past the Braves for a day this week. After the weekend series, the Braves travel back to Atlanta on Monday and open a two-game set against the Rays at the Ted on Tuesday. Finally, on Thursday, the Braves begin a four game home series with the Brewers.