In yet another late inning come from behind win, the Braves defeated the Nationals 3-2 for their sixth straight win. Trailing 2-1, the Braves scored two in the bottom of the 8th for the victory.
The game was possibly historic for a couple of reasons. This was the fifth consecutive game in which they came from behind to win. That was the longest such streak since they did so in a six game streak in 2019. That’s not especially historic. But this streak is possibly historic for another reason. As you know, they swept the Mets in three, after trailing by at least three runs in each game, and they overcame an early two run deficit last Sunday with a come from behind 9th inning grand slam against Arizona. I wonder when the team has ever won five straight in which they either trailed by at least three or came from behind in the 8th or later? JonathanF,does the bat signal reach Scandanavia?
The game is possibly historic for another reason. This was the first start (and second big league appearance) for 20 year old rookie AJ Smith-Shawver. The kid looked good, going five and a third innings, allowing only two unearned runs. His major league ERA is 0.00 after seven and two thirds. I haven’t looked it up, but it’s safe to say no one has a lower ERA so far.
It’s possibly historic, because this could have been the start of a career that may become legendary. I remember watching the first big league start of Steve Avery, Tommy Hanson, Julio Teheran, Michael Soroka, and plenty of others. Each of those starts was highly anticipated. None of them became Hall of Famers for one reason or another (although I’m still hoping for great things from Soroka!). But this could have been the first start of an all time great. In twenty years, I hope I’m still around to know how that turned out.
In any event, what a compelling story AJ is. You’ve read the stories of how he only started pitching three years ago, and how he shot through all levels of the minors this year in a couple of months. His plan in high school was to attend Texas Tech and play quarterback. He could have been the next Patrick Mahomes—or at least Kliff Kingsbury, Sonny Cumbie, BJ Symons, Graham Harrell, or Billie Joe Tolliver (I know some of you Falcon fans remember him, although perhaps not fondly). I’m glad the Braves and their signing bonus convinced him that he’d rather try to be the next Glavine, Maddux, or Smoltz.
The Braves go for seven straight this afternoon behind Jared Shuster. More history, please!
Braves Transactions: Justus Sheffield Assigned to Gwinnett
It’s rumored that he’ll be making his first start with the Stripers on Sunday. Meanwhile, Michael Soroka will pitch tonight for Gwinnett, so the Braves have back to back nights where they’ll be watching just in case.
Who’s Next in Line for Relief?
I’ve been taking to Braves Twitter to answer questions that pertain to the franchise and a lot of what I get are MILB questions. The latest question pertained to some AAA guys who are showing strong results and if I were to pick the pecking order, what would it be? Here was my answer:
I fully believe that Rios would’ve gotten a chance when the latest carousel occurred, but he was on the IL and Michael Tonkin was activated. If Tonkin ends up getting the ax, Rios has been remarkable all season and could be a real diamond in the rough for the stretch run. Grant Holmes has also been sitting ’em down, but the Braves likely wait until the offseason to add him to the 40-man like they did with Tonkin last year.
Sean Murphy gets a breather.