Thursday, August 12, 2021
The Braves now have a chance to sweep the Reds today, following an extra-inning walk-off win on Wednesday night. Ozzie Albies came through in a BIG way, with the game-winning long ball in the 11th inning…
The dinger was no. 19 for Albies, who now carries a 110 wRC+ through 113 games this season. He really needed last night’s performance. So far in the August, Albies is hitting just .167, with Wednesday’s longball just his second XBH this month.
Down on the farm there’s plenty to talk about from last night. Righty Ian Anderson took his first step to returning to Atlanta when he started for Gwinnett in Game 1 of its doubleheader.
Anderson threw 64 pitches (35 strikes) in three innings yesterday, and though he did allow a few runs, what matters is that he’s back on the mound. Hopefully he’ll be back in the Braves’ starting rotation in the next few weeks.
For the Stripers offense, Wednesday was all about prospect outfielder Cristian Pache, who homered in both games against Durham, tallying a total of five RBI for the day.
The two dingers on Wednesday gives Pache nine for the season in Triple-A, and while it hasn’t been a great year for him overall, the Braves top prospect still sports a 110 wRC+ in the minors this season. A hot stretch could possibly get him added to the big league roster next month.
Down in Double-A, the M-Braves kept its magical season going, this time off the backs of starter Alan Rangel’s ten strikeouts. Mississippi shutout Biloxi on Wednesday.
Rangel was just filthy yesterday, and for the year, the 22-year-old now sports a K rate of 11.4 K/9 at the Double-A level. Rangel has always been a solid pitcher, but he’s having a career season in 2021.
Also of note for the M-Braves is the incredible stretch of hitting by CJ Alexander. The 25-year-old homered again on Wednesday, giving him back-to-back games with a long ball as he’s now hitting .286 over his last eight games. If you recall, I had Alexander on my Braves Top 30 to begin the year but recently excluded him from the list in my midseason update. The third baseman is still hitting just .167 overall this season, but it appears he’s determined to turn things around at the plate.
It was also an important night for lefty Corbin Clouse, who made his Double-A debut for the 2021 campaign. Clouse had shoulder surgery last year and has been recovering slowly. The 26-year-old pitched 13 innings with the FCL Braves before getting his new assignment with the M-Braves, and given his experience as a pro, as long as he progresses well he should be in Gwinnett in no time.
For High-A Rome, Wednesday night featured a big win when outfielder Andrew Moritz drove in the go-ahead RBI single in extra-innings.
There wasn’t much offense in the R-Braves win last night, however, 2021 draftee Luke Waddell, star prospect Michael Harris II and Moritz each chipped in with RBIs. Jake McSteen made the start for Rome and pitched what will probably go down as his best outing of the year. McSteen struck out nine in seven innings and allowed just three hits.
Perhaps the most exciting bit of action down on the farm last night, though, was Tyler Tolve’s first career home run as a professional. Augusta was in cruise control by the seventh inning of its game against Kannapolis, but the lefty-hitting Tolve gave the GreenJackets another spark when he drove an oppo-shot over the left field wall. The 17th-round pick from this year’s draft seems to be enjoying his time in the Braves organization so far as Tolve is now hitting .250 in his first five games in Single-A. Outfielder Landon Stephens also enjoyed another strong performance at the plate on Wednesday, finishing 2 for 4 with a homer. Stephens — an UDFA by the Braves — now has 13 long balls this season and is hitting .244 in 76 games with the GreenJackets.
Overall, Wednesday was a productive day for the Braves organization, and more importantly, a huge step in the right direction for the big league team. With the Phillies squandering its series versus the Dodgers, losing its last two in a row, Atlanta has strong chance at taking sole possession of first-place in the NL East today. With the young Kyle Muller set to take the mound tonight at 5:10 PM (ET), a win over Cincy on Thursday would no doubt become the highlight of the 2021 season so far. We’ll see what happens… but I’m loving the determination of this team right now.
Here are your scores and key stats from everything Braves on Wednesday…
(59-55) ATLANTA BRAVES
W, 8-6 (F/11) vs. Reds
SP, T. Toussaint – 5 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 3 BB, 5 K, HR
2B, O. Albies – 2 for 5, HR, 3 RBI, SB
CF, G. Heredia – 1 for 5, HR, 2 RBI
3B, A. Riley – 2 for 5, 2B, 2 RBI
(48-38) GWINNETT STRIPERS
W, 4-3 vs. Durham
W, 5-3 vs. Durham
SP, I. Anderson – 3 IP, 3 H, 3 ER, 3 BB, 3 K
SP, H. Ynoa – 4 ⅔ IP, 4 H, 3 ER, 4 BB, 7 K
CF, C. Pache – 4 for 6, 2 HR, 2B, 5 RBI
SS, O. Arcia – 2 for 3, 2 HR, 3 RBI
3B/1B, J. Camargo – 2 for 6, 2B, 2 R
2B, R. Goins – 2 for 6, HR, RBI
(50-36) MISSISSIPPI BRAVES
W, 6-0 vs. Biloxi
SP, A. Rangel – (W), 6 IP, 2 H, BB, 10 K
RP, C. Clouse – 1 IP, BB, 3 K
LF, J. Pearson – 2 for 3, 3 RBI
3B, C. Alexander – 1 for 3, HR, 2 RBI
SS, W. Rijo – 2 for 4, 2B, 2 R
RF, G. Jenista – 1 for 3, 2B, R
(38-48) ROME BRAVES
W, 5-4 (F/11) vs. Hickory
SP, J. McSteen – 7 IP, 3 H, 2 ER, BB, 9 K, HR
RF, M. Harris – 1 for 4, RBI, R
SS, L. Waddell – 1 for 4, RBI, R
LF, A. Moritz – 1 for 5, RBI
*Andrew Mortitz hit go-ahead RBI single in the 11th, scoring Riley Delgado.
(bold = 2021 draftee)
(36-50) AUGUSTA GREENJACKETS
W, 12-3 vs. Kannapolis
SP, R. Rodriguez – (W), 7 IP, 7 H, 3 ER, 7 K, HR
RF, L. Stephens – 2 for 4, HR, 2B, 4 RBI
C, T. Tolve – 2 for 4, HR, 2 RBI
LF, C. Robinson – 1 for 4, 2 RBI, R
1B, C. Bunnell – 1 for 3, 2B, RBI, 2 R
(bold = 2021 draftee)