Braves ride youngsters to series win
Atlanta’s young players put the team on their shoulders and led them to a win over the Florida Marlins this week. The Braves’ young players are beginning to blossom and could turn the corner in their major league careers this season. This week saw the Braves take 2 of 3 games from the Marlins to earn the series win.
Game 1 on Tuesday had two young hurlers go at it. Neither Scott Olson nor Jair Jurrjens was very effective and gave up a combined 10 earned runs. Jurrjens left in the 3rd inning after he allowed 6 runs on 6 hits and 2 walks. Olson wasn’t much better, being lifted in the 5th after 4 earned runs and 3 walks. The Braves trailed all game until the offense sparked for 4 runs in the 9th inning off of Florida closer Kevin Gregg. Yunel Escobar ended the game in dramatic fashion with a walk off single in the bottom of the 9th to give the Braves a 10-9 victory.
Josh Johnson brought his A game on Wednesday for the Marlins. Johnson threw a 1 run, complete game to dominate the Braves. Mike Hampton was also solid going 8 strong innings while allowing 3 earned runs. Atlanta simply couldn’t get anything going against Johnson and were overwhelmed. Johnson earned the win as the Marlins took the 2nd game 4-1.
Game 3 saw Charlie Morton pitch they way Atlanta knows he can. Morton went 6 innings, allowing 2 earned runs to earn his 4th victory. Josh Anderson was called up and went 1-2 in the game with 2 walks and a run scored. Josh sparked the offense from the leadoff spot and helped the Braves capture a 4-2 victory. Anderson will have a shot at playing center field next year after Mark Kotsay was traded to the Red Sox. Anderson had been amazing for the Richmond Braves before his call up. Anderson gives the Braves the speed that they lack and could steal some bases before the year is over.
In injury news Rafael Soriano’s season ended after he had elbow surgery. Dr. James Andrews performed the surgery and should have Soriano ready for spring training next season. Atlanta was able to make another move and trade Mark Kotsay to the Red Sox for a minor league outfielder. This gives them even more depth at the position. Next spring training should see a vicious battle for the center fielder job, as there are at least 3 legitimate candidates.
This weekend the Braves travel to Washington to take on the Nationals. Jorge Campillo (7-6) will take on Odalis Perez (5-10) in game 1. Jo-Jo Reyes (3-10) will try to turn his terrible season around against Jason Bergmann (2-10) in game 2. The series finale has Jair Jurrjens (11-9) facing Collin Balester (3-6). Jurrjens has seemingly lost his Rookie of the Year race against Chicago catcher Geovany Soto. With several poor starts this month Jurrjens may have lost his campaign but he can still put in a very good rookie season.
By Ben Burrows
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