Pitching dominated on Monday night, as the Braves and Orioles took a scoreless game into the ninth inning. Alex Wood (7.1 innings pitched, zero earned runs, seven strikeouts) and Kevin Gausman (7.2 innings, zero earned runs, five strikeouts) took to the mound for their respective teams and pitched lights out before turning it over to the 'pen. Adonis Garcia hit a home run in the top of the ninth to put the Braves up 1-0, but the lead wouldn't last for long. Just half an inning later, J.J Hardy would send the game into extras before Matt Weiters walked it off via the long ball in the 11th.
Three days until the deadline, and the Braves (like the other 29 teams) are at the center of a handful of trade rumors. Today brought news in regards to Atlanta's stud shortstop Andrelton Simmons. The New York Mets checked in on Simmons, but according to Buster Olney, his price tag remains incredibly high. For now, at least, the Braves seem to have the mindset of building around Simmons.
When Cameron Maybin came to Atlanta before this season, he carried the tag of someone who never quite lived up to the hype. Now halfway through his first season with the Braves, Maybin is starting to look like the player many once thought he would be in San Diego. So naturally, considering the Braves seem to be in a selling mode, plenty of calls have been made inquiring on Maybin. Per Mark Bowman, it's going to take quite the hefty offer to pry Maybin away from Atlanta:
Teams have expressed interest in Maybin, but the Braves have made it clear they'll need to "be blown away w/ an offer" to deal him right now— Mark Bowman (@mlbbowman) July 27, 2015
The Braves spent the last off-season shipping off every valuable veteran on their squad in return for some talented youth. A mid-season deal brought Touki Toussaint, a top pitching prospect, over to Atlanta - for next to nothing. In this piece for the New York Times, Tyler Kepner highlights the Toussaint trade in a deep loom at Atlanta's overhaul.
The dominoes are finally starting to fall. Troy Tulowitzki, widely regarded as one of the top shortstps in the league, has been rumored in trades for what feels like his whole career. Early Tuesday morning, the Colorado Rockies finally pulled the trigger on a deal, sending Tulo and LaTroy Hawkins to the Toronto Blue Jays for Jose Reyes, Jeff Hoffman, Miguel Castro and a minor leaguer.
Love him, hate him, do whatever you want: Alex Rodriguez is having quite the season. The now 40-year-old is batting .277/.375/.539 on the season with 23 home runs. He capped off his 40th birthday in fashion, with a home run - the sixth birthday home run of his career. He also joined Gary Sheffield, Ty Cobb and Rusty Staub as the only players to homer in their teenage years and in their 40's.