Atlanta Braves News
The Atlanta Braves dropped Friday’s series opener to the Mets 4-2. Dallas Keuchel allowed seven hits and four runs, including a pair of homers, over five innings in his final tune up for the postseason. Dansby Swanson banged out three more hits in the loss.
Speaking of the Mets, The Athletic’s Tim Britton took a position-by-position look at the biggest Met killers from 2019. Freddie Freeman gets the nod at first base and draws mention that he is probably the biggest Met killer of the decade. He is joined by Josh Donaldson who has nine homers this season against New York and Ronald Acuña Jr. who is hitting .348 with five homers against Mets pitching this season.
Ender Inciarte still has discomfort in his injured hamstring and has been ruled out for the division series. The Braves were hopeful that Inciarte would be activated for Friday’s game but he felt discomfort when testing it out on the field. He was sent back to Atlanta for further evaluation and could be an option for the NLCS should the Braves advance.
Billy Hamilton left Friday’s loss to the Mets in the fifth inning after hooking his right thumb on second base during a stolen base attempt. The Braves later said that Hamilton’s exit was just a precaution. Hamilton’s status is that much more important for Atlanta now that Ender Inciarte has been ruled out for the division series.
Beyond the Box Score’s Kenny Kelly takes a look at how a simple adjustment has paid dividends for new Braves’ reliever Mark Melancon.
MLB.com released the most popular jersey list for 2019 on Friday. Braves’ outfielder Ronald Acuña Jr. just missed out on the Top 5 coming in at No. 6 and just ahead of Boston’s Mookie Betts. Freddie Freeman landed at No. 15. Aaron Judge had the most popular jersey in the game for the second straight year.
While we still aren’t certain who will face the Nationals or where the Wild Card game will be played but we do know who will be on the mound for Washington. Nats manager Dave Martinez announced on Friday that Max Scherzer will start the wild card game and that Stephen Strasburg and Patrick Corbin would both be on the roster and available to pitch if needed.
If Gabe Kapler is worried about his status as Phillies’ manager then he isn’t showing it. Kapler will enter the final year of his contract in 2020 but back-to-back disappointing seasons may have put him in jeopardy.
Felix Hernandez took the mound for the Seattle Mariners for probably the last time Thursday night but he has no intention of retiring yet. Hernandez told MLB.com’s Greg Johns after Thursday’s game that his goal is to pitch in 2020 if he can find a job.
Marlins bench coach Tim Wallach won’t return to the team in 2020 for family reasons. Wallach reportedly would consider a job closer to his home in California. He has served as Don Mattingly’s bench coach in Miami since the 2016 season.
Red Sox principal owner John Henry, chairman Tom Werner and team president Sam Kennedy met with the media on Friday and surprised many with the news that they intend to get under the luxury tax line for the 2020 campaign. Boston has topped $230 million in payroll each of the last two seasons and will likely have to subtract from its current roster in order to get under the luxury tax threshold. The triumvirate also told reporters that they are looking for someone with previous experience as a general manager to replace Dave Dombrowski which essentially rules out an internal candidate.