After a 9-3 loss in Philadelphia on Friday night, most would think that it's impossible that the Braves would get blown out again by arguably the worst team in baseball. Think again. For the second game in a row, the starting pitching faltered as Matt Wisler allowed seven runs in 4.2 innings pitched. The Phillies, who smashed 15 hits, three home-runs and four doubles for 12 runs, were led by rookie Aaron Nola on the mound, who held the Braves to two runs over five innings pitched.
In the past calendar year, the Braves have undergone a litany of changes: Justin Upton, Melvin Upton Jr, Jason Heyward, Evan Gattis and Craig Kimbrel are out, while Jace Peterson, Shelby Miller and Cameron Maybin are among the new faces. At the trade deadline, Alex Wood was replaced with Hector Olivera. While all of this has been going on, the farm system has seen a major reboot.
When 38-year-old, well traveled A.J Pierzynski was signed to the Braves last winter, it made sense that he would split time with and mentor Christian Bethencourt behind the plate. Now, as the calendar turns to August, it's clear the the old veteran still has some tricks up his sleeve: a .294/.331/.434 line through 72 games with six home runs and 31 RBI isn't too shabby for a 38-year-old.
Pierzynski could become just the 14th player age 38 or older in more than a century (since 1910) to play 100 or more games while catching at least 90 percent of those games, according to the Baseball Reference play index.
Coming into Friday's trade deadline, Cameron Maybin was among the many Braves consistently popping up in trade rumors. While he remains on the team now, the Braves did their due diligence on trying to ship Maybin out of Atlanta. The Braves and the Yankees discussed a deal that would send Maybin to New York in exchange for 22-year-old catching prospect Gary Sanchez, but the Yankees put the kibosh on the potential deal.
Is it just me, or have we recently talked about a Dodgers' starting pitcher's scoreless streak? Oh, right, that's because Zack Greinke had his 45.2 scoreless innings streak snapped just a few weeks ago. With an eight inning, two-hit performance against the Angels on Saturday, Kershaw has raised his scoreless streak up to 37 innings, fifth best in Dodgers' franchise history. The rich just keep getting richer.
Saturday wasn't Ben Zobrist's first game with the Kansas City Royals, but it was certainly his breakout game: 3-for-4, two home runs and three RBI as the Royals narrowly escape the Rogers Centre with a 7-6 win over the Blue Jays, another team who made some key additions before the trade deadline.