Read this link for more information on this series.
Last week was a tough one for the OOTP Braves. They opened the week with 19 wins against nine losses. Seven days later, they added just one notch to their victories while dropping five games, including a series in Washington that was too close to reality for my poor Braves heart. Hopefully this week will look better. In the mean time, let’s start a weekly look at the minors with the Gwinnett Braves. Just 13-21 on the year – good for a half-game up on the last-place Charlotte Knights – Gwinnett has been unable to score many runs even as they have swiped 35 bases on the year, led by Jose Peraza‘s nine steals. He’s hitting .321 and Joey Terdoslavich was hitting .343 before an oblique strain sidelined him. He should be ready this week and might force his way to the majors at this rate. The starting staff has been worrisome in Gwinnett. Both top prospects Matt Wisler and Mike Foltynewicz have ERAs over 5.00. Hoping those two turn it around. Atlanta’s bullpen has been bad, but Gwinnett’s hasn’t been much better. Ian Thomas has nailed down five saves and might be in line for a callup next.
With that covered, let’s get to OOTP Braves Week in Review.
Josh Outman – General Suckage (Should be ready for a rehab stint in a week)
Kelly Johnson – Shoulder tendinitis (Early June Return?)
Christian Bethancourt – Post-concussion syndrome (Early June Return?)
Daniel Winkler – Elbow Surgery (June/July Return?)
Shelby Miller – Torn back muscle (August Return?)
Jason Grilli – Elbow Inflammation (August Return?)
Shae Simmons – Elbow Surgery (Lost for Year)
May 15 at Miami
Actual Result – ATL wins 5-3
OOTP Result – ATL wins 11-1
What a nice start to the week! Nick Markakis finished with four hits and Chris Johnson drove in four as the Braves smack the Marlins around. Cody Martin didn’t need a lot of support to throw eight solid innings with seven K’s, but he’ll certainly take it. The Braves were an equal opportunity deliver of pain to Marlins pitchers and scored runs on five of the six Marlins they faced.
May 16 at Miami
Actual Result – ATL wins 5-3
OOTP Result – ATL wins 5-4
Wonder if we can get Mike Redmond fired, too. Actually, the Marlins came into this series a half-game out of first place, held by the Braves. Now they will try to salvage a game. Markakis singled once and doubled twice, driving in four runs. Jace Peterson reached base three times, scoring twice and driving in a run. The effort allowed Mike Minor to improve to 2-1 as he pitched into the eighth before faltering. Jarrod Saltalamacchia homered off Jim Johnson to get the game a run closer, but Johnson still saved his fourth.
May 17 at Miami
Actual Result – ATL wins 6-0
OOTP Result – ATL loses 4-3 (11 ING)
Aww, was hoping for a sweep. Braves led for most of the early part of the game, but the Marlins took a 3-2 lead in the 7th, with the help of Justin Bour who seems to be a thorn in the Braves sides on May 17’s. Chris Johnson doubled and scored on an Andrelton Simmons triple in the ninth to tie it up, but in the 11th, the Marlins loaded the bases against Luis Avilan and Jim Johnson before Bour hit a sacrifice fly to plate Martin Prado. Eric Young Jr. and Simmons each had three hits in the loss.
May 18 – IDLE
With my day off, I wanted to look at a trade offer I recently received. The Yankees want to send Brett Gardner my way in exchange for EYJ and Rio Ruiz – the latter certainly the bigger player here. Gardner’s off to a .264 start and is a wonderful left fielder along with being a pretty good center fielder. I imagine the Braves front office would consider this trade. Gardner, though, is signed through 2018 with a team option for 2019. I am not anxious to give up Ruiz, but I may continue to negotiate with the Yankees on this one. Ultimately, I’m not too keen with taking on that salary, though, and I am willing to bet the Johns (Hart and Coppella) would agree.
May 19 vs. Tampa Bay
Actual Result – ATL loses 5-3
OOTP Result – ATL wins 2-1 (11 ING)
Two days after dropping an eleven inning affair in walkoff fashion, the Braves win one. Alex Wood was outstanding for the Braves Tuesday night. He worked eight scoreless innings before handing the game off to the pen. MISTAKE! John Jaso doubled and after Jim Johnson retired the next two, he uncorked a wild pitch that tied the game. But in the 11th, as the Marlins had did to the Braves on Sunday, the Braves loaded them with one out and Eric Young Jr. became the walkoff hero with a sacrifice fly, scoring Andrelton Simmons.
May 20 vs. Tampa Bay
Actual Result – ATL wins 2-1
OOTP Result – ATL loses 5-3
Fredi Gonzalez probably stuck with Trevor Cahill too long, but considering the way the pen has performed lately, I can’t blame him. Up 3-2 in the 8th, Cahill retired the first two, but a walk and back-to-back singles loaded them for Kevin Kiermaier, who doubled in a pair. A Freddie Freeman error led to an unearned run off Juan Jaime in the ninth. Simmons had three singles to raise his average to .300 while EYJ singled twice.
May 21 vs. Milwaukee
Actual Result – ATL wins 10-1
OOTP Result – ATL loses 5-3
Simmons again had three hits and Jonny Gomes hit a homer in the ninth, but despite the Brewers best effort to blow this, the Braves fall in the opening of a four-game set that will take them through the weekend. This game could have been a lot uglier as Milwaukee banged out 16 hits, including the first ten off Cody Martin, but struggled to post a big run-scoring inning. The Braves stuck around, but ultimately couldn’t muster a comeback.
Actual Win-Loss Record – 5-1
OOTP Win-Loss Record – 3-3
Actual Win-Loss Record – 20-20 (3.5 GB)
OOTP Win-Loss Record – 23-17 (1 game up)
A Look Ahead – Atlanta continues with their homestand and will play three more with the Brewers this weekend before heading west for a ten game road trip that will start Monday in Los Angeles and continue Thursday in San Francisco for a four-game set.