Nolan Ryan would be impressed with Beachy last night. He loves it when starting pitchers go deep into games. I love it when our guys pitch shutouts. In fact, that's the first shutout victory we've had all year. And, of course, it had to be Beachy out there pitching. I fully believe that the league is going to start taking notice of this young kid. He's becoming harder and harder to ignore. Bryce Harper? Booooooooooring, ESPN. The story is Beachy!
As I stated in the preview, Nolasco has trouble with Heyward, Chipper, Uggs, and MacDaddy. JayHey, Chip, and Mac all had RBIs, and Uggs drew 2 walks and scored 2 runs. The guys at the top of the order kept the heat on as well. Prado went for a double and a triple with an RBI, and Bourn went 2/5 with a 2-out RBI and a swiped bag. Our one-two punch at the top now has a combined .395 on base percentage. WHAT? MADNESS! But gloriously true. They set the table for unlimited success. Oh and I also mention that Freeman got his peepers fixed and went yard. He looks ridiculous in those glasses and the dugout let him hear it.
On to the MVP. You know who it is. It's Brandon Beachy. Brandon pitched his first career complete game shutout, and the first Braves complete game shutout since July 1, 2011 when Jurrjens shut out the Orioles at Turner Field. Even better, he didn't walk a soul in 9 inning of work, and struck out 6 batters. But Beachy wasn't content with just halting the Marlin's offense. No, no! He wanted to hit! With two out in the bottom of the 5th, Beachy stroked a single to right on a 2-2 count, and knocked in Chipper for the 7th run. Beachy is now batting a robust .167 with 4 RBIs on the season. He's chasing down Delgado (.250) as our best hitting pitcher for the season. Watch out Randall! Beachy's raking the ball.
The thing I liked best about this game, besides the obvious pitching dominance, was how everyone got in on the act. Nobody had more than one RBI in the game for our seven runs. Bourn, Prado, Freeman, Mac, Chip, Jason, and Beachy all came up with big hits. That's spreading it around to the Nth degree. Also, I like the agressive base-running that's getting us extra base hits. Prado getting the double and the triple is just one example this game, but you've seen how our guys are really busting it out of the box up and down the lineup. Now, I don't recommend guys like Delgado trying to stretch out a double, but for the rest of the team pressuring a defense is a great way to score extra runs. Michael Bourn creates mayhem on the bases, and he's tied for 2nd in the majors with 12 steals. Bonifacio on the Marlins is in the lead with 20, and he's never been caught. That's unreal. He's 8 ahead of everyone else and nobody has touched him. Props to that guy. Wish he wasn't in our division.
Some NL stats you may like: Atlanta is 1st in total runs, 2nd in total bases, 2nd in batting average, and 4th in homers. Also, we lead the NL in saves! Good job Craig! Beachy now has the best ERA in baseball at 1.33, and Michael Bourn is 6th in batting average in the NL. Also, Marteeeeeen is tied for 3rd in doubles, and he's batting .452 over the last week. In the past 7 days, the Braves have 6 starters batting over .300 and two batting over .400. Lastly, Freddy Freeman continues his errorless streak at first, tied with Todd Helton as the only first basemen in the NL at this point with 0 errors. I love Freddy Peepers and his golden glove. Hint-hint, voters.
Next we head into Tampa for a 3 game series against the Rays. I think we are catching them at the right time since they are only 5-5 in their last 10, but they are a scary 14-4 at home. Let's hope we can even that out a little.