The Braves tied up the series against the Mariners on Tuesday night by picking up a comfortable 4-0 victory against Seattle. Lucas Sims pitched a good game over six innings, and the Braves went up 3-0 in that sixth inning thanks to one of the wackiest baserunning moments that you’ll see in a while.
Ever since returning earlier than expected from injury, Freddie Freeman has been hitting .309/.377/.527 with a wRC+ of 131 and 8 home runs (going into last night’s game). However, his ISO during that same period is .218, which is nearly 100 points below his season ISO number of .303. His numbers are still good but the power is definitely lacking a bit, and Freeman told David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that the reason could be that he’s still not 100 percent healed from the injury.
“It is obviously not 100 percent, but it’s good enough in my eyes,” the big first baseman said Tuesday, revealing for the first time that he’s struggled physically with the wrist since returning from the DL a few weeks sooner than initially expected. “It’s probably about 80-85 percent. Once I started to swinging again it hasn’t gotten any better.”
And it almost certainly won’t until he has time to rest it for an extended period this winter, much like the right-wrist injury that caused him to miss 44 games in 2015 and wasn’t right again until after an extended rest period after that season.
“I talked to Dr. (Gary) Lourie the other day, and he says it’s going to be a whole offseason (before it’s back to normal),” Freeman said. “I have lost a lot of strength. I’ve hit some balls that I thought were home runs, and they’re not going.”
Just when it seemed like Mike Foltynewicz was starting to shine and make his way to the very top of Atlanta’s rotation, he proceeded to hit what’s been his rockiest string of starts so far this season. August has been a very rough month for Folty — he’s given up six or more earned runs in 3 of his 4 starts so far this month — but he’s acknowledged that he’s got nothing to do but work through his issues. He recently spoke with Nubyjas Wilson of the Marietta Daily Journal about his recent struggles.
Foltynewicz acknowledged that his recent swoon is a confluence of mental and physical lapses.
“When you get hit around like that multiple times in a row, it definitely does something to your confidence,” he said, “but it’s a game where you have to forget about things. I have in the past, but it is kind of tough when things like this keep happening and happening. I’m trying really hard to put all of this in the past and just focus on my bullpens and the days in between my starts to get better.”
Andrew Albers’ first start at SunTrust Park came as a member of the Seattle Mariners and not the Atlanta Braves. He has done a decent job for Seattle over two starts, and it’s clear that Albers is trying his best to take advantage of the opportunity that he probably wasn’t going to get with the Braves due to the surplus of talented pitching prospects in Atlanta’s farm system. Mark Bowman tried to explain the reasoning behind the Braves dealing Albers in one of his latest posts for the Braves’ website.
As the Braves spend the season's final two months evaluating Newcomb, Sims and possibly Gohara, they will get a better feel for where they might stand when they enter Spring Training, with the understanding there is a chance two of their other top young pitchers -- right-hander Mike Soroka (MLBPipeline's 38th-best overall prospect) and lefty Kolby Allard (25th) -- could join the rotation next year.
Albers stands as a good fit for the Mariners, who are willing to ride his hot hand as they fight for a postseason spot. But as a well-traveled hurler whose fastball tops out around 88 mph, there wasn't a place for him in Atlanta.
Alex Wood has been having a great season with the Dodgers so far, but it hasn’t come without a couple of bumps in the road when it comes to health. The latest issue for Wood is another bout of SC joint inflammation, and he’s now heading to the 10-day DL while he heals from it.
The NBA, NFL, and NHL all have league-wide codes of conduct for their fans who attend games, but MLB has let their teams handle things on an individual basis. That will change next season, as baseball is set to implement a league-wide code of conduct that will go into effect for the 2018 season. The major turning point appears to be the incident from earlier this season between Adam Jones and a particularly idiotic group of Red Sox fans.
A major precipitating factor for baseball’s shift seems to be Adam Jones’ experience with hate speech and derogatory language coming from fans in the stands at Fenway Park earlier this year. A day later, a white man was banned for life after directing a racial slur at a national anthem performer in the same park.