The Blue Jays broke open a 2 – 2 tie in the bottom of the 7th with 2 runs off A.J. Minter, as the Braves lose their 3rd consecutive game. Kevin Kiermaier and George Springer hit 1 out singles, and a crucial double steal put them both in scoring position. From there, Kiermaier was able to score on a Bo Bichette single to left, then Springer on a Vladimir Guerrero Jr. sacrifice fly.
Bryce Elder was solid again, allowing 2 runs on 5 hits and a walk in 5 innings, while striking out 3. His ERA now stands at 1.94. Offensively, Marcell Ozuna showed that perhaps he may be able to hit homers more often than once in a blue moon, accounting for all the Braves scoring with a 2 run homer in the 2nd, his 7th of the season. Marcell added a single in the 4th, and raised his OBP to .282.
Minter has now pitched 19 innings this season; the first 9 were pretty great, the last 10 not so much. His ERA stands at 8.05 and his WHIP at 1.47. However, he’s struck out 24 and walked only 6. He may be suffering a physical issue, he may be tipping pitches, and it’s maybe it’s 19 innings y’all and everybody just calm the heck down. Relievers, whatcha gonna do?
Atlanta falls to 25 – 14, and holds a 5 game lead over the Phillies in the N.L. East.
The Braves will try to salvage a game from the 3 game set on Sunday at 1:37. Collin McHugh will open a bullpen game against Yusei Kikuchi. Dylan Lee threw only 5 pitches, so I expect we would see him. And Raisel Iglesias hasn’t been seen for a while, for obvious reasons.
Let’s see if the Sunday moon will turn to gold.
Thanks, Rusty. I appreciate your perspective on A.J. I’ve been among those assuming he must be hurt. But you know, it is just 10 bad innings. It may be just one of those stretches where his location is a little off. He’s been one of the better relievers in baseball the last three years–but remember in 2021 he had to be sent down before he became a member of the vaunted night shift for the postseason. He could turn it around at any time. Let’s just hope his opportunities until he does so are in lower leverage situations.
Game thread is up.