This past week has been a long one for Braves fans… until Sunday that is! Sean Newcomb threw 8 2/3 no-hit innings, only to give up a single to Chris Taylor that was just out of the reach of the diving third baseman, Johan Camargo’s glove to break up the no-hit bid. This stellar performance pushed the struggling Braves past the scorching Dodgers, to avoid the dreaded four game sweep and to keep it tight in the division.
The Braves went two and four this week with an off day on Wednesday. This is not what Braves fans wanted to hear in a tight playoff race. But the first place Phillies had struggles of their own, going three and four to only stretch their lead by half a game, keeping it to a close 1.5 game lead as of Sunday night.
Besides Sean Newcomb’s dominating performance against the power hitting Dodgers on Sunday afternoon, there were a couple other bright spots during this last full week of July. Two-time defensive Gold Glover Ender Inciarte showed some signs of life at the plate as one of only two Braves hitters to bat over .300 for the week, batting .304 with a of couple doubles. Former Dodger Charlie Culberson also continued to be a huge asset for the Braves in four starts and one pinch hit appearance this week. He lead the Braves in hitting this week as the other batter to have an average over .300, with a .316 batting average. Culberson also filled the stat line with four doubles and five Rbis. He played a big role as he played both middle infield positions.
Culberson’s extended playing time leads to another bright spot for the Braves. 20 year-old All-Star Ozzie Albies gave everyone a scare when hurting his hamstring for the second time in as many weeks while rounding the bases in the first inning last Friday night vs the Nats. He seems to be fine after taking off a few games, the game last Saturday (7/20) being postponed and the off-day on Wednesday (7/25) allowed Albies to only miss three games, missing only three games with an injury a hamstring injury that could have easily landed him a DL stint is a big-time relief for Braves fans. Albies to the DL could have been detrimental to the power deprived Braves, as the team’s home run leader with 20.
The Braves look to continue their home stand versus the two teams fighting for last place in the NL East, with three games against the 46-61 Marlins and the 44- 59 Mets. The rotation has not been released past Monday’s start by Teheran. All eyes will be on the rotation to follow as there are rumors leaking that Braves top-prospect Kolby Allard will be getting a crack in the rotation on Tuesday (no confirmed sources) after getting scratched from his start this past Sunday (7/29). This could be a huge addition to the struggling Braves rotation and could give Newcomb, who threw a career high 136 pitches, a much deserved extra day off.
Be on the lookout for our next Atlanta Braves recap next Monday (8/6) for our first weekly recap, post-trade deadline! And don’t forget you can support the page on https://www.patreon.com/atlsportspageadair! See ya next week!