Surprise! (Braves over Jays part II)

The Jays are a good offensive team. Their OPS+ is above average. They have one of the best batsmen in baseball in Jose Bautista. None of this mattered against the Braves, which isn’t shocking if we’re just talking about Tim Hudson (that guy is great). It’s a bit more of a surprise when Mike Minor comes in for Tommy Hanson and sticks it to ’em. 7 innings, 1 run, 8 strikeouts to only 6 baserunners and a lot of flyball outs. Bautista went hitless for the second game in a row against the Braves. You don’t even hope for Mike Minor (a guy who has surrendered an OPS of worse than .800 in his career so far) to hold it down like this. After his 7 innings, O’Flaherty and Jonny Venters strolled in to clean things up (6 perfect innings of work between the two) and boom, the Braves are inexplicably 9 games over .500.

It’s really weird (especially when Fredi Gonzalez is your manager) to have so many things go right in a game. Every single Braves starter came out of this game with a hit, except for Dan Uggla (of course). Brian McCann drilled a homerun to right field, Mike Minor scored a run after drilling a double (our pitchers are ridiculous sometimes, gang), Freddie Freeman reached base two times to make up for his two strikeouts (progress), the crowd was loud, and love was probably in the air. Good things happened.

God willing, the Braves can keep playing (pitching?) with house money – Beachy is scheduled to make his return tomorrow, with the Braves optioning Minor back down to triple-A to make room. Not that Beachy pitching well will be a surprise equitable to the likes of Minor’s performance, which I’m still talking about two paragraphs later. I expect them to continue with the hitting against former Brave Jo Jo Reyes, who is better than you remember but still not very good.

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