On the final day of August the Braves saw some huge pitching performances as Mike Soroka, Tyrell Jenkins, Lucas Sims, and Matt Withrow all turn in strong starts, while Ronald Acuna and Austin Riley each had big days at the plate.
Gwinnett Braves 2, Norfolk Tides 0
- Tyrell Jenkins, SP: 6 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 7 BB, 4 K
- Rio Ruiz, 3B: 1-3, BB, .275/.360/.409
- Ronnier Mustelier, LF: 2-4, 2B, RBI, .298/.353/.402
This is a perfect example of why Tyrell Jenkins is so promising but at the same time leaves so much to be desired at others. Jenkins was the starter in a game where the Braves pitched a two hit shutout, and he allowed just one hit over six innings. However he also walked more than a hitter per inning with seven, and barely threw more than half of his pitches for strikes(53 of 102). This shows you how he could string together 18 innings across three big league starts where he allows just one run in each, and then follows that with 16 runs allowed over eight innings in his final two starts in Atlanta. Consistency and command are two of the main things he will need to address this winter.
The offense didn’t do much, but thanks to Jenkins and the bullpen they didn’t need to. Rio Ruiz stayed hot at the right time for a potential September promotion and Ronnier Mustelier had a pair of hits, including an RBI as well as throwing out a runner at second base.
Next Game-Thursday 9/1 hosting Durham @ 7:05 PM
Probable Starters: Durham-TBD
Mississippi Braves 6, Chattanooga Lookouts 2
- Dustin Peterson, DH: 1-5, RBI, 2 K, .280/.338/.424
- Kade Scivicque, C: 1-4, RBI, .250/.250/.250
- Lucas Sims, SP: 6 IP, 7 H, 2 R, 3 BB, 4 K
Lucas Sims was solid, but unspectacular as he pitched six quality innings giving up two runs. Sims command was fair in this one despite the three walks and hit batter, and while that’s not where everyone wants it to be, it is still progress from where he was at when he got sent back to Mississippi. Sims was followed by AJ Minter, who had one of his weaker outings on the year by giving up two walks and a hit in his inning, and Akeel Morris who struck out five in his two innings.
At the plate Kade Scivicque had a hit in his first game in AA- the same day he got added to the Arizona Fall League roster. It’s good to see him get pushed fairly aggressively with his advanced college background and the fact he appears to have a real shot at being a big league backup. Dustin Peterson also had a hit and an RBI, but the stars at the plate were Stephen Gaylor, who finished four for five, and Joey Meneses, who hit a two run homer.
Next Game-Thursday 9/1 hosting Biloxi @ 8:00 PM
Probable Starters: Biloxi-Luis Ortiz(2-1, 0.42)
Mississippi-Patrick Weigel(0-1, 3.65)
Carolina Mudcats 3, Wilmington Blue Rocks 2
- Keith Curcio, RF: 2-4, 2B, 3B, .264/.346/.377
- Sean Godfrey, LF: 2-4, 2B, RBI, .293/.326/.463
- Matt Withrow, SP: 6 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 BB, 11 K
As if the Jenkins and Sims weren’t good enough, Matt Withrow had one of his best starts of his career as he struck out 11 over six innings in a tight win. This puts Withrow up to 31 strikeouts over 23.2 innings in his last four starts- allowing just three earned runs. He’s been up and down at times in his first full professional season, but Withrow has shown some real flashes and could have a nice career out of the bullpen. Zach Quintana and Carlos Salazar finished off the game with three strong innings. In total the Mudcats struck out 15 hitters in this one.
Keith Curcio has slowed after his hot July, but he doubled and tripled while scoring a run here. Curcio is up to 27 doubles and seven triples on the season- a quiet but strong season for an under-rated prospect. Sean Godfrey also added a pair of hits and scored run. Travis Demeritte was hitless in three at bats with a pair of strikeouts, though he did walk once.
Next Game-Thursday 9/1 hosting Wilmington @ 7:00 PM
Probable Starters: Wilmington-Derek Gordon(2-2, 4.63)
Carolina-Ryan Clark(1-13, 5.83)
Rome Braves 9, Greenville Drive 1
- Austin Riley, 3B: 2-3, 3 R, 2B, HR, 3 RBI, 2 BB, .269/.324/.473
- Ronald Acuna, CF: 3-5, 3 R, HR, RBI, .295/.385/.395
- Mike Soroka, SP: 7 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 9 K
As good as all of the pitchers in the system were on Wednesday night, the best of the bunch was arguably Mike Soroka. Soroka pitched seven strong innings against a very good Greenville lineup led by some of the quality hitters in Boston’s system. Soroka seems to be finishing his first full professional season quite strong in spite of never having pitched this many innings in a season before. Scoreless innings by Josh Graham and Corbin Clouse finished the Drive off, and the Braves managed 13 strikeouts in this one.
The offense was just as exciting as the pitching, as Austin Riley and Ronald Acuna each homered in the win. Riley’s homer is his 19th on the year and his third since August 21st. It’s great to see Riley continue his second half surge after some first half struggles. He may not be as good of a prospect as he was hyped up to being last winter, but he could still be a very promising addition as an every day player. Acuna’s homer is his first one since April after an injury cost him the bulk of the season, and he continues to show that when he’s healthy he’s got as much upside as any outfield prospect in the lower minors. Jonathan Morales also added three hits in the win.
Next Game-Thursday 9/1 visiting Greenville @ 7:05 PM
Probable Starters: Greenville-Dedgar Jimenez(6-7, 4.85)
Rome-Touki Toussaint(4-8, 3.99)
Danville Braves 0, Burlington Royals 4
- Cristian Pache, CF: 2-4, .336/.376/.409
- Jhon Martinez, SP: 5 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 1 BB, 4 K
- Bladimir Matos, RP: 2 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 2 K
The final solid start of the day comes from Jhon Martinez. While Martinez wasn’t quite at the level as the others, he did allow just two runs and five base runners over five innings. It’s been a good year for Martinez, who with the loss here moves to 4-6 with a 3.21 ERA on the year. Martinez was followed by Adam McCreery, who gave up two unearned runs in the loss, and two solid innings out of Bladimir Matos.
Outside of a pair of hits from Cristian Pache the offense didn’t do much. Pache had two of the team’s four hits in a game where the Braves were completely held in check. Carlos Martinez and Bradley Keller each had the other hits, both singles as the team failed to record an extra base hit.
Next Game-Thursday 9/1 hosting Burlington @ 7:00 PM
Probable Starters: Burlington-Ofreidy Gomez(5-3, 5.59)
Danville-Ian Anderson(0-2, 4.60)
GCL Braves- PPD, Rain
The GCL team was rained out and will play a doubleheader tomorrow.
Next Game-Thursday 9/1 hosting GCL Tigers East @ 10:00 AM, Game 2 to follow
Probable Starters: TBD