There's a common belief in baseball that once you get to August, "you are what you are." So at this point in the season, it's safe to say that the Braves are not only just generally underwhelming as a whole right now, they're also pretty bad on the road. The road woes continued last night the Braves got hammered 7-1 by the Cubs. Fredi Gonzalez got ejected by Doug Eddings in the third inning, and immediately afterwards, the Cubs scored four runs and that was basically it for the game. Jake Arrieta handcuffed the Braves' offense, but Atlanta did eventually get a run, so we avoided seeing a shutout. It's the little things!
The Braves got Freddie Freeman back from the Disabled list on Wednesday, and his partner-in-rehab could be joining him with the Braves, soon. Hector Olivera had a good night with the G-Braves (ending his hitless streak on his rehab stint. Our national nightmare is over!), and the Braves have said that he could be joining the big league team on Monday. Freddie Freeman seems impressed with his new teammate:
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Freeman on Olivera: "If he was taking BP here, he'd be hitting them over that (left field video board at Wrigley). I mean it's impressive."</p>— Mark Bowman (@mlbbowman) <a href="https://twitter.com/mlbbowman/status/634493222325219328">August 20, 2015</a></blockquote>
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Nick Markakis returned to the top of the lineup for the past two games against the Padres and Cubs. Although Markakis only went 1-4 last night against the Cubs, he did end up scoring the Braves' sole run of the game thanks to a sacrifice fly, so I suppose that it was a productive move, right?
"I talked to (Markakis) this morning — he doesn’t care where he hits," Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said of the decision to move the right fielder back to the leadoff spot. "He just gives you the on-base percentage, gives you the good at-bats. And with (Freddie) Freeman back in the lineup it makes perfect sense, for me. But that’s the reason (for the move) – you put your best on-base guys up there, and put Bourny down at the bottom and it still gives you some speed down there."
The Braves will not only have a new home in Cobb County by 2017, but they'll also have a new Spring Training home as well by the year afterwards. Thanks to the Astros and Nationals moving their Spring Training sites from Central Florida, the Braves were basically left with no choice but to move from their home at Disney's Wide World of Sports. As a result, the team is waiting until the lease expires, and that's when they'll move to their new Spring Training complex. But for now, the team is still trying to figure out where exactly in Florida that new home will be.
So, Chris Archer may not be the most spectacular ace in baseball, but he's an ace nonetheless. Archer threw a "Maddux" last night in a 1-0 Rays victory over the Astros, and it was one of the best performances you'll see all season. Archer struck out 11 Astros and only gave up one hit. His game score of 95 was the third-best in the history of the "Maddux" stat.
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Meanwhile, in a battle of two teams who the Braves are still somehow ahead of in the standings, the Miami Marlins beat the Philadelphia Phillies 9-7 in a pretty exciting game. The most exciting part of this game came from Marcell Ozuna, who somehow managed to hit a home run that landed and bounced off of the top of the foul pole. Seriously, that actually happened.
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