William Contreras leads Gwinnett to extra-inning win; Kyle Muller and Tanner Gordon toss quality-starts

Thursday, August 26, 2021

-Clint Manry

Thanks to losses by both the Phillies and Mets last night, Atlanta’s NL East lead increases to five, even while they remain idle. The Braves will need its rest anyways, though, because Friday begins a three-game weekend series with the best team in baseball, the Giants.

As the Braves take their two days of rest, the farm continues on. With the M-Braves game postponed and the FCL team also off, Gwinnett headlined yesterday’s minor league slate.

Here’s a recap of Wednesday’s action down on the farm…

(57-41) GWINNETT STRIPERS

W, 5-4 (F/10) vs. Nashville

SP, K. Muller – 6 IP, 2 H, 2 BB, 4 K

CF, C. Pache – 3 for 4, 2B, 2 RBI, SB

C, W. Contreras – 2 for 4, RBI, R, BB

LF, T. Demeritte – 2 for 5

Lefty Kyle Muller continues to impress in his bid to return to the big league rotation. The 23-year-old started Wednesday’s matchup versus the Sounds and once again kept the damage to a minimum. After allowing a single in the opening frame, Muller held Nashville hitless all the way until the sixth, giving up a harmless base-hit before finishing up his outing. Overall, the big southpaw totaled 90 pitches and induced seven groundouts to go with two flyouts. Last night’s gem now gives Muller 12-straight scoreless innings with the Stripers as his two starts there has featured just three hits allowed and eight strikeouts. With Huascar Ynoa back for Atlanta, and Ian Anderson nearing a return as well, Muller may be on the outside looking in as far as the rotation goes. However, he could become a real weapon out of the bullpen next month. Regardless, the kid is throwing the ball well.

The Stripers ended up winning last night’s extra-inning battle due to a go-ahead RBI single by catcher William Contreras. However, the highlight of the game perhaps goes to outfielder Cristian Pache, who made THIS play in the sixth…

As you can see above, Pache also finished with three hits last night, pushing his season AVG in Gwinnett up to a respectable .261. The Braves top prospect has picked a nice time to get hot at the plate as Pache is currently hitting .333 with nine XBH in 17 games this month. Look for the 22-year-old to be added to Atlanta’s roster in September.

(58-39) MISSISSIPPI BRAVES

PPD vs. Pensacola

(43-54) ROME BRAVES

L, 8-6 (F/10) vs. Bowling Green

SP, T. Gordon – 6 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 8 K, 2 HR

3B, R. Delgado – 2 for 5, 3B, 2B, 2 RBI

DH, J. Franklin – 1 for 5, HR, RBI

2B, L. Waddell – 2 for 3, R

RF, S. Michel – 1 for 4, 3B, 2 RBI, R

LF, D. Campbell – 1 for 4, 2B, R

Bowling Green walked it off in the tenth against Rome last night with a two-run homer by Evan Edwards, however, R-Braves starter Tanner Gordon put together another impressive outing on the mound. Also, this year’s fifth-round pick, shortstop Luke Waddell, stays hot with the bat adding two hits for Rome. Waddell is 4 for 7 over his last two games, including a pair of home runs. He’ll enter Thursday hitting .245 with a .715 OPS so far this season.

(41-57) AUGUSTA GREENJACKETS

L, 9-1 vs. Charleston

SP, R. Cusick – (L), 3 IP, 4 H, 2 R, BB, 4 K

RP, G. Rodriguez – 1.2 IP, BB, 4 K

1B, C. Bunnell – 1 for 4, HR, RBI

C, A. Zebrowski – 1 for 3

RF, C. Robinson – 1 for 3

The Braves top pick in the 2021 MLB Draft, righty Ryan Cusick, made his third pro start last night for Augusta, laboring through a 55-pitch outing. Cusick has been on a pretty short leash pitch-count wise, but so far his results have been strong. Counting Wednesday’s start, the 21-year-old sports a 1.17 ERA in 7.2 innings thus far, including a whopping 15 strikeouts (17.6 K/9) and three walks. Another 2021 draftee that has enjoyed his first taste of pro ball, catcher Adam Zebrowski added another hit last night, pushing his AVG for the season up to .333 (.833 OPS). Zebrowski has only played in seven games for Augusta thus far, but he’s managed to record a hit in all but two of them. For a 13th-round pick out of a small college, the 20-year-old is looking more and more like a steal of a pick for the Braves.

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