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But they’re not healthy and not everything is going great in the Atlanta Braves’ world; but the most important part, they’re finding ways to win.
The rotation has taken its toll. They were stellar all the way to the All-Star break. After that, the wheels have seemed to fall off a bit for the starting rotation.
Let’s examine the rotation.
Brandon Beachy has a 3.35 ERA in his last 10 starts with a 4-1 record. Beachy is really rounding into form and seems to mature more almost every start. He’s increased his K/BB rate with 61 strikeouts and only 19 walks in his last 53.2 innings pitched. That’s impressive for the rookie.
Season Line: 5-2 with a 3.43 ERA. Highlights: 105 Ks in 97 innings.
Tommy Hanson is trying to break through those nagging shoulder injuries again. He’s been struggling of late and has given up at least a run in his last nine starts. His last start was the final straw, when he gave up seven runs against the Mets in only three innings. In his last 10 starts, Hanson is 5-3 with a 4.53 ERA.
Season Line: 11-7 with a 3.60 ERA. Highlights: 142 Ks in 130 innings pitched with a .219 opponent average.
Jair Jurrjens has seen his ERA balloon in his last 10 starts. More disturbing, he’s been rocked around, giving up 11 runs in 10 total innings between two starts against the Nationals. Those two starts were sandwiched in between a six-inning, four-run performance against the Reds and a seven-inning, one-run performance against a declining Pittsburgh Pirates that landed him on the DL. His last 10 starts have resulted in a 5-2 record with a 3.65 ERA.
Season Line: 12-4 with a 2.63 ERA. Highlights: He just relies on the ground ball. Unfortunately, those ground balls are finding holes.
Tim Hudson has been like Beachy, consistent. Unlike Beachy, he’s also been pure dominant. Hudson has a 2.07 ERA with a 7-1 record in his last 10 starts. Hudson has seemed to find a second wind that has helped stabilize the rotation.
Season Line: 12-7 with a 3.18 ERA. Highlights: Whip is 1.09 on the season.
And then there’s Derek Lowe. Should I just leave him alone? I’ll just say this one line: 4-6 with a 6.18 ERA, 75 hits given up in only 55 innings with only 33 Ks and 20 walks in his last 10 starts.
The re-enforcements from the minor leagues have proved to be more than just relief to the suddenly struggling rotation; they are a glimmer of what’s to come in the future.
Arodys Vizcaino has replaced Scott Proctor (Thank God!) in the pen. He’s pitched 2.2 innings of clean and crisp relief. Vizcaino, who was just moved to the bullpen this year, has relished his new role. Whether he stays a reliever or becomes a David Price (start in the bullpen and move to the rotation down the road) is to be determined.
Anthony Varvaro, just sent down today to make room for Brian McCann, excelled in his first big-league taste. I’m sure he’ll be back up for the stretch run in September, and my guess is he’ll be on the playoff roster, as well. He’s had seven appearances with 16 Ks in only nine innings. He’s at an even 3.00 ERA as well.
Julio Teheran, who hasn’t pitched in the majors since 5/18, has pitched well this year, as well, in his short two stints. He pitched against the MLB-best Philies in his debut and the NL West-leading Arizona Diamondbacks. This will probably be the last of Teheran for this year unless an injury to the Braves staff proves to be longer than anticipated.
Mike Minor has filled in nicely, so far. He’s less talented than most of the Braves top prospects, but he has determination and shows a willingness to learn. Often compared to Tom Glavine, Minor has a 2-2 record with a 4.84 ERA in 44 innings so far.
Randall Delgado will be making the start on Tuesday to fill in for injured Tommy Hanson. Delgado, another prized prospect, will be making his second start of the season. Delgado started his major-league career against the Texas Rangers, went four innings while giving up three runs and took the loss. He’ll face the San Francisco Giants on Tuesday.