Atlanta Braves Series Against Miami Marlins
Results: Atlanta Braves 2-0 (winning pitcher: Paul Maholm, losing pitcher: Kevin Slowey); Braves 3-2 (winning pitcher: Kris Medlen, losing pitcher: Wade LeBlanc); Braves 8-0 (winning pitcher: Mike Minor, losing pitcher: Alex Sanabia)
Series MVP: Evan Gattis started all three games at catcher and didn’t disappoint against the Miami Marlins. The 26-year-old finished the series 5-for-12 with two home runs and a team-leading five RBI. Gattis hit a two-run home run in the first inning of Tuesday’s game to get the Braves going and broke open Wednesday night’s game with a three-run home run in the fifth inning. Gattis found comfort hitting in the cleanup spot and look for more of that in the near future.
Mike Minor: The left-hander capped off the sweep on Wednesday with a solid outing. Minor worked around leadoff doubles in the second and third inning to keep the game scoreless and then let the Braves’ offense take over. Minor went 5 2/3 innings, allowing five hits, a walk and no earned runs with four strikeouts. Minor is 2-0 to begin the 2013 season.
Juan Francisco: Francisco has received more playing time with the injury to Freddie Freeman, and he is taking advantage of it. Francisco finished the series 5-for-12, highlighted by a mammoth two-run home run in the fifth inning of Wednesday’s game. The bomb hit off the facade of the second deck in center field. Francisco will continue to get most of the starts at third base over the next week.
Jordan Schafer: The center fielder got his first start of the season on Wednesday, but he made the most of it. Schafer was 4-for-5 on the night with two runs and a stolen base. Schafer got the fifth inning rally started by showcasing his speed with a bunt single and stolen base. He scored the first run of the game on an Andrelton Simmons‘ single, and the Braves were off and running. Don’t look for many starts moving forward for Schafer, but he was key in getting the offense started on Wednesday.
Jason Heyward: Heyward was left out of the starting lineup for Tuesday’s game. In the other two games, he didn’t produce going 0-for-8 with a walk and run scored. Heyward has gotten off to a rocky start to say the least with a .071 batting average. If you are looking for some good news, he hit the ball on the nose in his first two at-bats on Wednesday but had nothing to show for it.
B.J. Upton: Upton looked to find his groove at the end of the Chicago Cubs‘ series, but that didn’t continue in Miami. Upton was 0-for-9 for the series with three strikeouts and four men left on base. Upton sat out Wednesday night’s game to get some rest and clear his head before a big series this weekend with the Washington Nationals.
Dan Uggla: Uggla had a better series than both Heyward and Upton but not by much. He finished 2-for-11 with an RBI, two runs scored and two walks. He also struck out four times. Uggla’s 2013 season has been pedestrian, but not dreadful thus far. He does continue to get on base via the walk.
Bombs Away: The Braves hit four home runs this series (Gattis two, Francisco one, Justin Upton one) and are tied for second in the MLB with 15 on the season.
Whiffs: The Braves managed to cut down on their strikeouts to 21 this series, and they lead the National League with 84 on the season.
Getting on Base: The Braves’ offense will be virtually unstoppable if they get on base at a high rate. So far, they sit in ninth in the National League with a .324 OBP.
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