Remember when it seemed like this type of stuff used to happen every other night earlier in the season? It hasn't happened nearly as much as of late, but the Braves' bullpen gave us a vintage performance last night when a three-run lead in the late stages of the game transformed into a three-run loss at the hands of Tampa. The Rays scored six runs in the final third of the game, and a good night at the plate for the Braves went to waste. This was especially painful considering that Pedro Ciriaco basically played the game of his life on this particular night.
The Braves got some really good news on the injury front, though: Both Freddie Freeman and Hector Olivera will be starting their rehab assignments today. The Braves expressed optimism that Freeman could return to the Braves' lineup on August 19th, and they also expect Olivera to make his Braves debut this coming Tuesday. We already know what Freddie Freeman means to the Braves, but I'm sure that we're all itching to see exactly what Olivera can do in a Braves uniform.
It's extremely early days for top Braves draft pick Austin Riley, but he's hit the ground running down in the GCL. As a matter of fact, according to mlb.com's Johnathan Mayo, Riley is actually one of the 10 hottest draft picks in baseball right now.
A two-way standout some liked as a pitcher, the Braves took Riley and sent him out as a third baseman because of his power potential. So far, so good, as he's hit nine long balls in 39 games for a robust .540 slugging percentage. Even a promotion from the Gulf Coast League to the Appalachian League hasn't slowed Riley down as the Braves' No. 16 prospect slugged .677 in nine games.
31 years and a day ago, the Atlanta Braves and the San Diego Padres engaged in one of the ugliest-yet-most amazing baseball games of all-time, and the ugliness didn't come from bad baseball. Instead, it came from the fact that both teams were extremely ill-tempered on the day and decided to spend the typically hot day in Atlanta trying to assault each other. If you want to read our recap of the game, then click here. Anytime you get a chance to remember former Padre and Typical '80s Movie Villain Champ Summers, you do it.
Seattle Mariners pitcher Hisashi Iwakuma was on top of his game on Wednesday afternoon, as he threw the fifth no-hitter in Mariners history and became the third Japanese pitcher to throw a no-no in Major League Baseball. Iwakuma only gave up three walks and struck out seven throughout the entire affair and never really looked in danger of giving up a hit. The three runs that Seattle scored ended up being more than enough, and now Seattle can lay claim to the last three no-hitters in the American League: A combined no-no in June 2012, Felix Hernandez's perfect game later that year, and now Iwakuma's gem from yesterday.