August 2013

Series Preview: Gwinnett Braves (57-81) vs. Durham Bulls (84-53)

Leonard (Moore)

Leonard (Moore)

Wed: RHP David Hale (6-7, 2.87) vs. RHP J.D. Martin (15-4, 2.84)

Thu: RHP Omar Poveda (6-7, 3.53) vs. RHP Jake Odorizzi (9-6, 3.33)

Fri: RHP Kameron Loe (4-4, 3.28) vs. LHP Mike Montgomery (7-7, 4.60)

The Gwinnett Braves wrap up their final series of the 2013 season with the Durham Bulls. Durham rolls into Coolray Field with the best record in the International League, while the Braves hold the worst mark in the IL. Durham holds the season series 12 games to 5.

Batters: Last night, Dan Uggla broke a 17-game homerless drought for the G-Braves with a fifth inning homer, but the Braves still dropped their fourth straight contest. The Braves bats have been swinging it well, collecting 26 hits in the two games series, but they have failed to drive runners in. During the Norfolk series, the G-Braves went 7-for-25 with runners in scoring position, while leaving 25 runners on base…  Joe Leonard is looking to finish the season strong. In his last 10 games, the third baseman is hitting .316 (12-for-38) with one run and five RBI.

Pitchers: The Braves will send a trio of right-handers for their final 2013 home series. Hale has been the most impressive. In his last 10 starts, the right-hander is 4-4 with a 1.88 ERA. He has struck out 36 batters in 62.1 innings… Kameron Loe is the only hurler that has made it to the Major Leagues this season. He has made three different stints at the MLB level (Cubs, Mariners and Braves). He has excelled as a starter for the G-Braves. In nine starts, he is 2-3 with a 2.76 ERA…

Durham Bulls

With six games left in the IL regular season, the Bulls have clinched the South Division title and will have home field advantage throughout the 2013 postseason.

Batters: Postseason All-Star Vince Belnome leads the No.1 offense in the International League. Belnome is hitting .297 (127-for-427) with 33 doubles, three triples, eight homers and 66 RBIs. While, Belnome has been with the club all season, Brandon Guyer has been the most explosive player on the roster. The fleet-footed outfielder is having a banner season for the Bulls. In 92 games, he is batting .301 (101-for-335) with 20 doubles, five triples, seven homers, 40 RBIs and a team-leading 22 stolen bases.

Pitchers: The offense hasn’t had to do much, as the Bulls pitching staff carries the best ERA in the league. The 2013 IL Pitcher of the Year, J. D. Martin leads the way. The righty leads the league in wins (15) and is fourth in ERA (2.84) and innings pitched (152.0). He is 2-0 with a 0.00 ERA (0R/ 13IP) in two starts against the G-Braves… Former Kansas City Royals’ farmhands Jake Odorizzi and Mike Montgomery will finish off the series against the G-Braves. Odorizzi holds the best batting average against (.225) in the league, while posting 1.72 ERA in his three starts against the G-Braves… Montgomery hasn’t fared well against the G-Braves in 2013, he is 2-2 with a 4.87 ERA. He is the lone Bull to have more than one loss against the G-Braves.

Series Preview: Gwinnett Braves (57-79) vs. Norfolk Tides (71-64)

Constanza (Roughgarden)

Constanza (Roughgarden)

Mon: RHP Freddie Garcia (8-3, 2.84) vs. LHP Tsuyoshi Wada (4-6, 4.52)

Tue: LHP Sean Gilmartin (2-8, 5.63) vs. RHP Steve Johnson (1-3, 4.58)

With the G-Braves officially eliminated from playoff contention and Norfolk half a game behind the Wild Card leading Rochester Red Wings (72-64), Gwinnett will look to play spoiler in their final series with the Tides.

Batters: Gwinnett Braves are coming off a 3-5 road trip were they were held to four or less runs on seven of the eight contests… Jose Constanza rolls into the series having reached base on 23 consecutive games. The left-handed hitting outfielder is batting .267 (85-for-318) with six doubles, three triples, 15 RBIs and 20 stolen bases… Newly acquired Tyler Greene is off to a good start for the G-Braves. In seven games, he is hitting .300 (6-for-20) with two doubles, and one RBI. On the season, in a combined 63 games with Charlotte and Gwinnett, the utility player is hitting .246 (56-for-228) with 12 doubles, two homers, three triples, 28 RBIs and 10 stolen bases.

Pitchers: Last week, Freddie Garcia was playing for the Norfolk Tides, on Monday night he will face his old squad as a member of the G-Braves. The right-hander is having a great season. In 13 starts, he is 8-3 with a 2.84 ERA.  He has fanned 61 batters in 82.1 innings for the Tides…On the other hand, left-hander Sean Gilmartin is having a rough year. He is 3-8 with a 5.83 ERA in 15 starts for the G-Braves, while missing over two months with shoulder tendinitis. The southpaw will try and ride the ship in his second to last start of the 2013 season.

Norfolk enters the series in the middle of Wild Card race. The Tides owned the Wild Card lead most of the season, but were surpassed by the Red Wings. However, with a five game losing streak by Rochester, Norfolk is back in it and half a game out of first place.

Batters: Henry Urretia will look to push the Tides over the hump. The left-handed batter is hitting .354 (29-for-118) with five doubles, one triple, one homer and seven RBIs in 21 games for the Tides. He has owned the G-Braves, hitting .364 (12-for-33) with two doubles, one triple and five RBIs… Slick-fielding Yamaico Navarro is having a great season at the dish. In 99 games, he is batting .275 (98-for-356) with 20 doubles, one triple, nine round trippers and 45 RBIs.

Pitchers: Tsuyoshi Wada will take the ball for the Tides in game one. The southpaw is 4-6 on the season, but has picked up one of those victories against the G-Braves. On 8/6, he went five innings of scoreless baseball, while scattering four hits and striking out seven for his fourth victory of the season… Steve Johnson will pitch in game two. The right-hander is making his seventh start (ninth appearance) of the season. He has faced the G-Braves once, tossing three innings of scoreless, one-hit baseball. Johnson has struggled as a starter, going 1-3 with a 5.52 ERA (18ER/29.1IP), while posting a 0.00 ERA in six innings of scoreless relief.

Series Preview: Gwinnett Braves (52-72) vs. Durham Bulls (70-54)

Tue: RHP Kameron Loe (4-3, 3.21) vs. RHP Jake Odorizzi (8-5, 3.88)

Wed: LHP Yohan Flande (7-7, 4.46) vs. LHP Mike Montgomery (7-5, 4.24)

Thu: RHP Cody Martin (2-4, 3.97) vs.RHP Merrill Kelly (6-3, 3.45)

Fri: RHP David Hale (6-7, 2.99) vs. RHP Matt Buschmann (6-1, 2.95)

The Gwinnett Braves avoided a sweep of Monday afternoon, winning the finale against the Lehigh Valley IronPigs 3-1. The G-Braves are 4-6 in their last 10 games and are 3-11 against the Durham Bulls this season.

Batters: Phil Gosselin has carried the G-Braves offense, connecting in six straight games. In his last ten games, he is hitting .344 (11-for-32) with two runs scored. On the season, he is batting .279 (43-for-154) with two doubles, one triple, two homers and 11 RBI. Since returning from Atlanta, Jose Constanza has been solid bat at the top of the order. In three games, he is hitting .308 (4-for-13) with one run scored and one RBI.

Pitchers: Yohan Flande has been the best G-Braves arm of late. In his last two outings, he is 1-1 with a 2.77 ERA. He has struck out 13 and walked one in that span. He has fared well against Durham, as he was won two of the three games against the Bulls. In five games (two starts), Flande is 2-0 with a 2.84 ERA against Durham. He will get the ball in game two. Game four starter, David Hale, has matched Flande’s success lately. In his last two starts, he is 0-2 with a 3.00 ERA. Hale has been solid against Durham , tossing 12.1 innings, scattering 11 hits and allowing three runs (two earned, but has dropped both contests against the Bulls.

Durham Bulls

Batters: Leslie Anderson comes into town swinging a hot bat. In his last five games, he is hitting .357 (5-for-14) with two runs scored, one homer and five RBI. He lead the team with a .316 (118-for-373) batting average, 14 homers and 69 RBI. He has feasted against the G-Braves staff, hitting .333 (12-for-36) with three homers and nine RBI. Cole Figueroa enters the series, hitting .392 (20-for-51) with three doubles, one triple, one homer and nine RBI against G-Braves in 2013. He holds the best BA against the Braves.

Pitchers:  Right-hander Merrill Kelly is 3-1 with a 1.44 ERA in four starts against the Braves. In 25 innings against the G-Braves, he has allowed 18 hits and eight walks, while striking out 20. Matt Buschmann will take the ball in the finale. He is 6-1 with a 2.95 ERA in 14 games (13 starts). In his lone start against the Braves, he is 1-0 with a 1.29 ERA (7 IP/ 1 ER).

Bull-Headed: The International League leader in wins, J.D. Martin will not pitch in the series, as he pitched on Sunday night. He is 14-4 with a 2.77 ERA and is 2-0 with a 0.00 ERA against the G-Braves in 2013.

Series Preview: Gwinnett Braves (51-69) vs. Lehigh Valley IronPigs (60-60)

Mejia (Cooper)

Mejia (Cooper)

Fri: LHP Yohan Flande (7-6, 4.42) vs. RHP David Buchanan (1-0, 2.57)

Sat: RHP Cody Martin (2-3, 2.96) vs. LHP Greg Smith (6-2, 2.50)

Sun: RHP David Hale (6-6, 2.99) vs. LHP Adam Morgan (1-5, 4.05)

Mon: RHP Omar Poveda (5-7, 3.42) vs. LHP Tom Cochran (3-6, 5.70)

The Gwinnett Braves enter the series coming off back-to-back one-run victories over the Norfolk Tides, while Lehigh Valley has dropped two straight games. The IronPigs have slipped to fourth place in the North Division and sit two games out of the Wild Card lead.

Batters: The G-Braves offense has been held to four runs or less in their last eight games. They have found a way to win three of those games, but runs are at a premium for the Braves… Ernesto Mejia will try to carry the offense. In his last contest, he hit a game-winning home run against the Norfolk Tides. On the season, he has belted 28 dingers, while hitting .243 (95-for-391) with a league-leading 77 RBI. Stefan Gartrell has carried a hot bat the last five days. In four games, he is hitting .417 (5-for-12) with a solo homer.  

Pitchers: In the last six games, the pitching staff has allowed 12 runs (11 earned), while logging 47 innings on the mound. They have posted a 2.11 ERA in that span, allowing 32 hits, 13 walks and striking out 41… Yohan Flande has led the way, winning three straight contests and being named IL Pitcher of the Week last week. In his last three starts, he has gone 3-0 with a 1.17 ERA (3ER/23IP), while fanning 15 and issuing one walk. He will try to improve to improve on his 7-6 mark, as he takes the ball in game one.

Lehigh Valley IronPigs

Batters: The IronPigs lineup features multiple table-setters and one big bopper in Cody Oberdeck. The first baseman leads the team in homers (19), runs (51) , RBI (58) and possesses a .265 (99-for-373) batting average…. Cesar Hernandez is one of the table-setters at the top of the lineup. The No. 15 prospect in the Phillies organization according to Baseball America is having a stellar campaign with the IronPigs. In 87 games, he is hitting .310 (104-for-335) with 11 doubles, eight triples, two homers and 31 RBI.

Pitchers: The pride of Georgia State University, David Buchanan, will take the ball in game one of the series. The right-hander made his Triple-A on 8/4, tossing seven innings, scattering six hits, allowing two runs and striking out four en route to his first career Triple-A victory. The Atlanta, GA native will have a large crowd in attendance, as he pitches in his home state for the first time in his career since being drafted in the seventh round of the 2010 First Year Player Draft by the Philadelphia Phillies.

Brundy’s Back: Dave Brundage returns to Coolray Field for the first time since taking the managerial job with the Lehigh Valley IronPigs. He was the first manager in G-Braves history.