Last night’s 5-1 loss to Lehigh Valley has the G-Braves now 1.5 games behind Charlotte for the South Division lead and wondering what went wrong. After a tremendous 17-7 April and decent 15-15 May, Gwinnett has opened up June at 1-5. The offense is hitting just .179 (33-for-184) with one home run and 14 RBIs this month, while the pitching staff is posting a collective 5.29 ERA (30 ER in 51.o IP). It’s high time to turn things around.
Tonight’s Game Notes: 6.7.12 GBraves Game Notes
Kris Medlen hopes to be a huge part of that turnaround in his second start for the G-Braves tonight. Medlen struggled through 2.1 innings in his first Triple-A start since the 2009 season his last time out against Charlotte, allowing four runs on five hits including one home run. If he hopes to be on the fast track to the Atlanta rotation, he’s going to need a much better start this time out. The G-Braves could use it, their only win in the last eight games remains Julio Teheran’s nine-inning complete-game masterpiece on June 3 at Charlotte.
Medlen (0-1, 15.43) is opposed by veteran right-hander Scott Elarton (5-2, 3.55) of Lehigh Valley tonight in game three of the four-game series in Allentown, PA. If Elarton’s name sounds familiar, it’s because not long ago he was a pretty solid Major Leaguer. He pitched 10 MLB seasons from 1998 to 2008 with the likes of Houston, Colorado, Cleveland and Kansas City. Where’s he been since? The 36-year-old threw in 16 games for IL South rival Charlotte in 2010, was off the radar in 2011 before being signed to a minor league contract by Philadelphia this season.
Two MLB vets go head to head starting at 7:05 PM tonight, listen to the broadcast on WDUN 550 AM / 102.9 FM and WDUN.com.
There’s not too many positive things that can be taken away from last night’s 10-1 loss at Lehigh Valley, except the fact that the game is over and in the past. Todd Redmond allowed a season-high seven earned runs and three homers over 3.2 innings before being ejected, and the Gwinnett offense managed just one run on two hits (the run coming on Ernesto Mejia’s solo home run) in their sixth loss in the past seven games. The slide has the G-Braves in unfamiliar territory — second place — for the first time since April 11. Gwinnett had held the first-place spot in the IL South for an impressive 55-straight days.
Tonight, Dave Brundage’s crew looks to take first place back as they try and right the ship against the IronPigs. Lefty Yohan Flande (2-3, 3.44) pitched 7.0 scoreless frames in a 4-0 victory over Lehigh Valley his last time out, he’ll look to replicate that success against a ‘Pigs team that is suddenly swinging hot bats.
Meanwhile, the G-Braves offense is going to have to back Flande with something. The lineup scored zero runs for Redmond last night and zero runs for Eric Junge the previous game in Charlotte. They’ll have a tough task in IronPigs’ right-hander Tyler Cloyd (4-1, 2.47), who pitched 6.0 innings with three runs in a no-decision his last time facing Gwinnett on May 31.
Tonight’s Game Notes: 6.6.12 GBraves Game Notes
First pitch is at 7:05 PM, listen in to the broadcast on WDUN 550 AM / 102.9 FM and WDUN.com.
The G-Braves couldn’t follow up Julio Teheran’s Sunday evening gem last night as they fell 3-2 to Charlotte and settled for a split of the two-game series. The Knights scored all three of their runs off starter Eric Junge in the fifth inning, sending the veteran right-hander to his team-leading fifth loss despite his team-best seventh quality start. The Gwinnett offense continues to struggle as the club was shut out over the first eight innings, seven pitched by Charlotte starter Charlie Shirek. A two-run single by red-hot Christian Marrero cut the deficit to one, but Knights’ closer Brian Bruney struck out former Knight Stefan Gartrell to strand the tying run.
The road trip rolls on for Dave Brundage’s crew as they begin a four-game series at Lehigh Valley. The two clubs recently split a four-game series at Coolray Field, with the G-Braves taking the first two games (including the 9-8 comeback thriller on Memorial Day) and the IronPigs recovering to win the last two. It’s right-hander Todd Redmond on the mound for Gwinnett tonight, looking to keep up his impressive numbers. “Red” enters the game 5-3 with the league’s sixth-best ERA of 2.76. He yielded four runs over 7.0 innings in his last start, also against Lehigh Valley, a game that resulted in a no-decision and an eventual 14-4 loss. Left-hander Tom Cochran (2-1, 4.70) throws for the ‘Pigs tonight. First pitch is at 7:05 PM.
In roster-related news, we wish third baseman Joey Terdoslavich well as he looks to right his season in Double-A Mississippi. Joey T was sent to the M-Braves today after struggling at the plate (.180 average) and on defense (IL high 22 errors). There’s no doubt the defending Atlanta Braves Minor League Player of the Year has tremendous talent, but the jump from Advanced-A to Triple-A can be a big one for anyone. It may not be this year, but I’m certain we’ll see Terdoslavich come through Gwinnett again.
Replacing Joey on the roster is a familiar name, infielder Ruben Gotay. Gotay was acquired from Toronto for cash considerations today, and the Braves assigned him directly to Gwinnett. Gotay hit .253 with three homers and 25 RBIs in 72 games with the G-Braves last year. He had been hitting .346 with 14 RBIs in 22 games with Triple-A Las Vegas prior to the trade.
More on Junge, Marrero, Redmond, Gotay and others in tonight’s G-Braves Game Notes: 6.5.12 GBraves Game Notes
The G-Blog went on hiatus yesterday as Tony and myself both took the day off to recover from a 10-game homestand. We return today to have some fantastic news to report, in case you haven’t already heard (which you probably have).
After 84 career outings, 81 career starts without going the distance, 21-year-old right-hander Julio Teheran finally pitched his first complete game last night in a 5-1 win at Charlotte. Yes, hard to imagine that the two-time Atlanta Braves top prospect, 2011 International League Rookie of the Year and Most Valuable Pitcher had exactly zero outings in which he went the distance prior to yesterday. No rain-shortened complete games, no doubleheader CG’s, nothing. But that changed last night as he allowed only a run (on a Jordan Danks solo homer) on seven hits over 9.0 frames. He walked none and fanned six, throwing a season-high 109 pitches, 77 for strikes.
G-Braves’ pitching coach Marty Reed provided some great quotes in the MiLB.com story on Teheran’s outing last night.
What’s next for Teheran? How about a vote from you for the Triple-A All-Star Game? While you’re at it, vote for all the rest of the G-Braves, especially Ernesto Mejia, Todd Redmond and Luis Durango. Mejia drove in his team-leading 41st RBI last night and is hitting .314, good for third-best in the IL. Redmond, who starts tomorrow at Lehigh Valley, carries the league’s sixth-best ERA of 2.76. Durango, though his numbers have slowed down, still leads the circuit with 23 stolen bases in 29 attempts. They’re all deserving of your vote, which is going on now at MiLB.com.
The G-Braves are off the four-game slide with last night’s win and look to extend upon their 1.5-game lead for first in the IL South as they close the series with second-place Charlotte tonight. Right-hander Eric Junge (3-4, 4.20) has gone at least 6.0 innings in seven of his 10 starts for Gwinnett this season, there’s no reason to think that Junge won’t have his club in the game again tonight. Charlotte counters with right-hander Charlie Shirek (5-3, 4.23), who has posted numbers similar to Junge in his 11 games, 10 starts. First pitch at Knights Stadium in Fort Mill, SC is scheduled for 7:15 PM, catch all the action with Tony Schiavone on WDUN 550 AM / 102.9 FM and WDUN.com.
Tonight’s Game Notes: 6.4.12 GBraves Game Notes
Playing an 11 AM game on getaway day to end an eight-game road trip is always a good idea, but the quick turnaround is even better when you’ve suffered a difficult loss the night before. Such is the case today for the Gwinnett Braves, who look to forget a 10-1 drubbing at the hands of the Rochester Red Wings in the finale of the four-game series this morning. The Red Wings, the last place team in the IL North, pounded out 18 hits on the night, 11 coming off G-Braves’ starter Jair Jurrjens. Jurrjens gave up seven runs, six earned over 4.1 innings and is 0-2 with a 16.00 ERA (16 ER in 9.0 IP) over his last two starts. That’s following a 2-0, 2.05 mark in his first three starts with Gwinnett.
The lone highlight of the night came courtesy of the red-hot Ernesto Mejia, who connected on a solo home run in the seventh inning to break the shutout. Mejia’s seventh clout of the year extended his hitting streak to 10 games. The newly-minted IL Batter of the Week is hitting .444 (16-for-36) with three homers and 12 RBIs on the streak, his first of double-digits this season.
Moving on to today, it’s right-hander Julio Teheran (3-2, 3.31) going up against Red Wings’ right-hander Daryl Thompson (1-4, 4.42). Teheran was exceptional to start this month, but suffered a four-run, 2.2-inning loss his last time out at Buffalo on May 17. The G-Braves are going to need him to settle down if they want to exit with a series split and finish the trip at a semi-respectable 3-5.
More on Jurrjens, Mejia, Teheran and the rest of the crew in today’s G-Braves Game Notes: 5.22.12 GBraves Game Notes
Today’s broadcast with Tony Schiavone can be heard on 1240 ESPN Radio in Gainesville, GA. Make sure to tune him in there. And, of course, we’ll see you at Coolray Field on Thursday night as the G-Braves return home to start a 1o-game homestand.
It’s been a busy Monday here in the Gwinnett Braves Media Relations Department (otherwise known as the area in and around my office), what with Todd Redmond and Ernesto Mejia sweeping the International League Player of the Week awards, Drew Sutton being traded to the Pittsburgh Pirates (he’s a Tampa Bay Ray now) and Lance Zawadzki joining the G-Braves’ roster in time to start tonight in Rochester. Nobody ever said a job in baseball is short on excitement.
I could fill plenty of lines about all of those topics today, but you can check out the various press releases right now on GwinnettBraves.com. Instead, let’s look ahead to tonight. The G-Braves, fresh off a 2-1 win yesterday that snapped a four-game losing streak, take on the Rochester Red Wings in game three of a four-game series. Mejia is in search of a 10-game hitting streak, Stefan Gartrell looks to keep up his torrid power pace on the road (four homers, seven RBI) and Jair Jurrjens (2-1, 5.06) just looks to put his 12-hit, 11-run debacle in the rear view mirror. The Red Wings have right-hander Jeff Manship (3-1, 3.48) on the hill tonight, first pitch slated for 7:05 PM.
Tonight’s Game Notes: 5.21.12 GBraves Game Notes
Check out the broadcast with Tony Schiavone on WDUN 550 AM /102.9 FM and WDUN.com. And don’t forget, tomorrow’s series finale in Rochester is an 11:05 AM start, which means two things. One, the game can be heard on 1240 ESPN Radio tomorrow, and two, I get to stay up late preparing tomorrow’s G-Braves Notes. Looks like another busy one.
The Gwinnett Braves play their final regular-season game against the Buffalo Bisons at Coca-Cola Field tonight, looking to salvage a series that started off well, but has since seen the Bisons win back-to-back games. After the firepower both sides displayed on Wednesday night, last night’s contest was fairly pedestrian. The G-Braves scored twice in the top of the first only to see right-hander Julio Teheran give the runs right back in the bottom of the first. Teheran struggled with control over 2.2 innings, allowing four runs on seven hits and walking a season-high five. Stefan Gartrell and Ernesto Mejia both went 2-for-4 as Gwinnett out-hit Buffalo 10-7, but Bisons’ starter Chris Schwinden and three relievers were able to avoid major damage to take a 2-1 series lead.
A split of the four-game series is within reach for Dave Brundage’s crew, and they’ll have their quality man on the mound tonight. Right-hander Eric Junge rides a five-game quality start streak entering his eighth start of the year. He’s 3-3 with a solid 3.07 ERA and will be looking to avenge a quality loss to the Bisons from back on May 8. Buffalo, meanwhile, sends prospect arm Matt Harvey to the hill. Harvey pitched 6.0 scoreless, five-hit innings on May 8 to best Junge the last time he faced Gwinnett.
More on Teheran, Gartrell, Mejia, Junge and others in tonight’s G-Braves Game Notes: 5.18.12 GBraves Game Notes
We’ll see if it’s offense or pitching that plays the storyline tonight. Whichever, hopefully it benefits the G-Braves as they wrap up the first leg of this eight-game road trip. First pitch is up at 7:05 PM, listen to the broadcast with Tony Schiavone on WDUN 550 AM / 102.9 FM and WDUN.com.
The Gwinnett Braves scored seven runs on a season-high 15 hits, getting three-hit, multi-RBI efforts from both Stefan Gartrell (3-for-5, 2 doubles, HR, 2 RBI) and Ernesto Mejia (3-for-5, double, 3 RBI) and a 2-for-4, two-RBI game from Joey Terdoslavich. Yet they still lost. Right-hander Jair Jurrjens entered the Gwinnett record book with a team-high (dating back to 2009) 11 runs allowed, 10 0f them earned on 12 hits over 4.2 innings. Buffalo added three more runs against the bullpen and won the second game of the four-game set by a touchdown.
Jurrjens had been stellar in the rotation for Gwinnett prior to last night, entering with a 2-0 record and 2.05 ERA. JJ, however, now holds the dubious distinction of being the first G-Brave to allow more than eight earned runs in an outing (the last one to allow eight ER was Randall Delgado in a loss at Charlotte on August 21, 2011). We’ll see how JJ bounces back in his next outing on Monday against a struggling Rochester club.
In the meantime, it’s Julio Teheran on the hill tonight against the Bisons. Teheran, in case you haven’t already seen, has looked much more like the defending IL Pitcher of the Year and top Braves prospect as of late. In three May starts, he’s 1-0 with a 1.13 ERA (2 ER in 16.0 IP) and is limiting IL opponents to a .214 average. Last time he faced the Bisons, he limited the IL’s top-hitting team (.275 team average) to just an unearned run on five hits across 6.0 innings. He’ll hope to post similar numbers tonight.
Read more about Jurrjens, Teheran, Gartrell, Mejia and other’s in tonight’s G-Braves Game Notes: 5.17.12 GBraves Game Notes
Don’t forget to check out the broadcast with Tony Schiavone on WDUN 550 AM / 102.9 FM and on WDUN.com.
The 11-game, 10-day marathon homestand is over, and your IL South-leading Gwinnett Braves take to the road for an eight-game trip through Buffalo and Rochester. They begin things tonight at Coca-Cola Field in Buffalo, NY as they take on Wally Backman’s Bisons’ squad. The two teams met up at Coolray Field recently, with Buffalo taking three of four. Only a Stefan Gartrell walk-off home run on Thursday afternoon could salvage the series for the G-Braves.
If you like great pitching (and who doesn’t), you’ll get a good dose of it as these two teams meet up again. Right-hander Todd Redmond, fresh off his career high-tying 10-strikeout performance against the same Bisons lineup his last time out, takes the baseball for the G-Braves tonight. “Red” yielded just a run on six hits over 6.2 innings in his 116-pitch effort on May 10, this time he’ll be looking to pick up the win. Meanwhile, Buffalo counters with right-hander Jeremy Hefner, owner of the International League’s second-best ERA of 1.77. Hefner’s 3-1 with a modest 23 strikeouts in 40.2 innings, but worked a season-high 7.2 innings with two runs on four hits in a no-decision when he last met with the Gwinnett lineup on May 10. One of those two runs came home on a Christian Marrero solo blast.
We won’t get to see the Julio Teheran vs. Matt Harvey mega-prospect match-up that we just missed out on in the last series, but both pitchers will throw in the four-game set. Teheran is slated for a game three start on Thursday, while Harvey will go up against right-hander Eric Junge on Friday. Right-hander Jair Jurrjens, 2-0 with a 2.05 ERA over his first three starts with Gwinnett, will start on Wednesday night. Plenty of great pitching to keep an eye out for.
As far as the Gwinnett lineup is concerned, we’ve seen hot stretches from Drew Sutton, Jordan Parraz, Jose Constanza and Gartrell since the start of the season. The latest entrant is Luis Durango, who after a combined 3-for-6 effort in the doubleheader, is riding a nine-game hitting streak. Durango is hitting .419 (13-for-31) with two doubles, seven runs scored and five RBI on the streak. The increase in his time on base has led directly to more steals, as he swiped nine bags in 10 games on the homestand. Durango leads all IL players with 20 steals in 24 attempts this year.
More on Redmond, Durango and the rest of the G-Braves in tonight’s Game Notes: 5.15.12 GBraves Game Notes
Game one gets going at 7:05 PM tonight, listen to the broadcast with Tony Schiavone on WDUN 550 AM / 102.9 FM and WDUN.com.
The Gwinnett Braves (18-9) close out the eight-game road trip tonight, looking for a series split with the Columbus Clippers (15-12) after falling in a 12-8 slugfest last night. Josh Wilson, J.C. Boscan and Stefan Gartrell all homered for the G-Braves, but left-hander Yohan Flande was shelled for seven runs (six earned) in his first loss of the year and the bullpen surrendered five more runs to put the game out of reach.
Wilson ans Boscan went back-to-back for solo homers off right-hander Kevin Slowey in the second inning, becoming the first G-Braves’ tandem to do so this year. Gartrell, meanwhile, stayed red hot with his third home run of the series. He’s hitting .421 (8-for-19) with the three blasts and eight RBI on a five-game hitting streak. Ernesto Mejia also contributed, going 1-for-5 with a two-run double to extend his team RBI lead to 17.
Tonight’s Game Notes: 5.4.12 GBraves Game Notes
Right-hander Todd Redmond (2-2, 3.04) looks to quiet down the Columbus bats in his team-leading sixth start tonight. He’ll go up against Clippers’ right-hander Corey Kluber (3-1, 2.67). First pitch from Huntington Park is scheduled for 7:05 PM, listen to the broadcast with Tony Schiavone on WDUN 550 AM / 102.9 FM and WDUN.com.