Coming To You Live From Turner Field
The Gwinnett Braves Front Office is taking a much needed breather from their 145-game Triple-A regular season schedule on Thursday, as we visit our parent club at Turner Field this afternoon. I am writing this article live during the Atlanta Braves (15-10) and Philadelphia Phillies (12-13) game from the Turner Field Press Box directly above home plate. The press level is magnificent and is at least 10 times the size of our press box in Gwinnett. This will be an easy adjustment for me to make.
Former G-Braves standout righty Randall Delgado (2-2, 6.30) will be matching up with the Phillies right-hander Joe Blanton (2-3, 3.81) for a 12:10 p.m. first pitch from Turner Field. Other current Atlanta Braves in today’s starting line-up that have donned a Gwinnett Braves uniform are Freddie Freeman, Brian McCann, Martin Prado, Jason Heyward and Tyler Pastornicky…just to name a few.
Regardless, all is well in Braves country. The Atlanta Braves are right in the thick of the National League East Division, as they trail the Washington Nationals by just half a game for first place. With all the hype surrounding the phenom Bryce Harper, it surprises me that there are still four other teams in the NL East besides Harper and his Nats. Needless to say, both the Braves and Nats had improbable wins Wednesday night…
Atlanta found themselves down 6-0 Wednesday night to Roy Halladay who had never lost a game when leading by six runs or more. Also, Halladay hadn’t allowed a grand slam since the previous decade (1999), which really set the stage for some Braves heroics. Following a Brian McCann grand slam that tied the game, 6-6, the Braves found themselves down four runs, 12-8, just an inning later.
Atlanta stole the show and Chipper Jones broke the collective back of the Phillies with not one, but two dramatic walk-off shots in the 12th inning. Jones’ first blast down the right field line was called just foul as the fans of Atlanta were primed to erupt….Nevertheless, two pitches later the living legend sent a no-doubter into the right centerfield stands for a walk-off winner, 13-12, as the Braves grabbed their first win over the Phillies in their last nine tries.
The G-Braves have also been cruising as of late with their league-best record. Gwinnett took one of two games from the back-to-back defending National Champion Columbus Clippers in a Wednesday double-dip. Currently, the G-Braves own the best record (18-8) in the International League and have the No. 1 ranked pitching in the IL this season. Stefan Gartrell has picked up after his 2011 pace, jacking two bombs this week and raising his batting average from .165 to .205 in a matter of days.
The G-Braves return home, alongside the rest of our Front Office staff, on Saturday for the first of 11 games in 10 days from Coolray Field. Gwinnett will be playing host to Charlotte (2 games), Buffalo (4 games) and Toledo (5 games) during the upcoming home stand. Tickets for all Gwinnett Braves home games are on sale now at the Coolray Field Box Office. Call (678) 277-0340 or visit gwinnettbraves.com for more information.
By: Tony Piraro