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Washington steals one from Atlanta while a few ’21 draftees pick up their first hits

Washington steals one from Atlanta while a few ’21 draftees pick up their first hits

Sunday, August 8, 2021

-Clint Manry

It was one of those games for the Braves last night as Atlanta dropped a game they should’ve won. We’ve seen the same situation play out many times this season, in which the bullpen fails, but Saturday night’s loss was super frustrating given how well the team has played of late.

Even so, the Braves farm system had a few bright spots. A few former 2021 draftees made some highlights by recording their first hits and RBIs.

Here’s a recap of everything that went on with the Braves organization on Saturday…

(56-55) Atlanta Braves

L, 3-2 vs. Nationals

SP, C. Morton – 6 IP, 3 H, 2 BB, 7 K

RF, J. Soler – 2 for 2, HR, RBI, 2 BB

SS, D. Swanson – 1 for 4, 2B

Veteran starter Charlie Morton pitched another strong outing, and the Braves scored two early runs to go up 2-0 on the Nationals last night. However, in the ninth against closer Will Smith, Washington manufactured three runs to steal the game. Smith led off the final frame by walking Josh Bell, then he proceeded to allow a double by Ryan Zimmerman. With runners on the corners, two batters later Luis Garcia grounded out and pushed in Bell to make it 3-1. Following a Braves mound visit,  the next batter – Riley Adams – belted a two-run homer… and just like that Atlanta was down by one.

The loss was an absolute gut punch. Adams, who’s first career homer came last night versus Smith, is sporting a 13 wRC+ this season, to go with a .111 AVG and 35.9K%. How in the hell does that guy take away the Braves win? Hopefully Atlanta can recover today with Max Fried on the mound. Fried will face Washington’s Patrick Corbin, with first pitch scheduled for 1:20 PM (ET).

(44-38) Gwinnett Stripers

PPD vs. Charlotte

The game between the Stripers and Knights was postponed on Saturday, so the two teams will play a doubleheader today, with Game 1 beginning at 12:05 PM (ET).

(47-36) Mississippi Braves

W, 1-0 vs. Birmingham

SP, V. Vodnik – 4 IP, 2 H, 4 BB, 3 K

C, S. Langeliers – 1 for 3, 2B, R

2B, J. Miller – 1 for 3, RBI

This was a pitching battle from the start as Victor Vodnik tossed a two-hitter over four innings, though struggled a bit with his control. B-Ham’s starter Taylor Varnell was also stingy on the mound as he also allowed just two hits and struck out six over six innings of work. His lone mistake came in the second when M-Braves second baseman Jalen Miller drove an RBI single to center to score Shea Langeliers and go up 1-0.

Mississippi’s bullpen was dominant in the win. The trio of Hayden Deal, Brandon White and Brooks Wilson came in and pitched five hitless innings to end the game, to go with seven strikeouts. Wilson is now down to a 1.87 ERA for the season as one the M-Braves top arms out of the bullpen.

(37-46) Rome Braves

L, 11-3 vs. Greenville

SP, C. Huntley – (L), 4 IP, 6 H, 5 ER, BB, 4 K, HR

DH, M. Harris – 2 for 4, HR, 2B, 2 RBI

CF, J. Franklin – 1 for 4, 2B, R

LF, A. Moritz – 2 for 3, 2B, RBI

Rome got beat up on last night as Greenville’s Joe Davis and Stephen Scott combined to finish 5 for 9 with two homers, a double and seven RBI. By the third inning, the R-Braves were already down 5-1, and despite the offense pushing across a run in both the fourth and fifth innings, the Drive kept scoring runs at a higher pace. On the bright side, though, start prospect and now fifth on my Midseason Braves Top 30, Michael Harris, belted his sixth home run of the season when he drove one to deep straight-away center in the first…

That’s six losses in a row for Rome. Because of so many promotions impacting the team’s pitching, the R-Braves starting rotation has become rather thin.

(34-49) Augusta GreenJackets

L, 4-2 vs. Charleston

SP, A. Hoffmann – 2 IP, 2 H, ER, BB, 2 K, HR

RF, L. Stephens – 1 for 4, 2B, RBI

1B, B. Horne – 2 for 4

3B, J. Malloy – 1 for 4, 2B, RBI

SS, V. Grissom – 1 for 5

(bold) = 2021 draftee

We had a few more debuts for some of the Braves recent 2021 draftees as 21-year-old Justyn-Henry Malloy picked up his first hit of his pro career, an RBI double in the second to put Augusta up 2-0.

Those two runs in that second inning (Landon Stephens also doubled in a run) was all the GreenJackets could muster, though, and the Knights ran away with it.

Another 2021 draftee made his first appearance, though, as 12th round pick Andew Hoffmann started Saturday’s game and worked a pair of innings. The Illinois product allowed a homer in the second but overall pitched rather well, throwing 22 of 32 pitches for a strike. I’m sure we’ll be seeing a lot more of Hoffmann as the season progresses.

(11-14) FCL Braves

W, 2-1 vs. Rays

SP, R. Salinas – 3 IP, H, R, 3 BB, 4 K

C, A. Zebrowski – 1 for 2, 2B, RBI

LF, B. Mezquita – 1 for 4, RBI

RF, E. Workinger – 1 for 4

(bold) = 2021 draftee

The baby Braves only managed three hits but those his produced two runs and a win over the Rays yesterday. This year’s 13th round pick by the Braves, 20-year-old catcher Adam Zebrowski picked up both his first hit and RBI in the win, and outfielder Brandol Mezquita continued his incredible start to the 2021 campaign by hitting safely in his fifth consecutive game.

Starter Royber Salinas was a little wild, but the FCL Braves bullpen came in and finished the job with relative ease. As part of a trio of relievers, Estarlin Rodriguez worked four scoreless innings and allowed just three hits while striking out three to earn the win.

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