Braves' new world.
On Saturday, Jarrod Saltalamacchia doubled in two runs with two outs in the second, drew a walk and scored on Josh Hamilton’s game-busting bomb in the fifth, singled and scored on Michael Young’s two-run single in the seventh, and struck out in the eighth.
On Saturday, Matt Harrison earned his second big league win, his first on the road, giving up one earned run in five innings of work. He was pitching to Saltalamacchia, who had caught him in the Gulf Coast League in 2003 (both players’ debut season), and in the Southern League in 2006 and 2007. Saltalamacchia has caught both of Harrison’s big league wins. He didn’t catch Harrison’s loss or his no-decision.
On Saturday in Frisco, Elvis Andrus singled in the first, homered in the third (off righthander Will Inman, one of San Diego’s top prospects), was drilled with two outs and nobody on in the fifth — and proceeded to steal second, and singled in the seventh and proceeded to steal second — his 40th swipe of the season — forcing a bad throw that allowed Julio Borbon to score from third and Andrus to scamper to third himself.
On Saturday in Frisco, Beau Jones made his AA debut. The 21-year-old lefthander’s work: strikeout swinging, groundout, strikeout swinging, ground-ball double, flyout, groundout, groundout, line-out, strikeout swinging. That’s 2.2 scoreless innings, one hit, no walks, three strikeouts. Threw 22 of his 34 pitches for strikes.
On Saturday, Neftali Feliz, up to 99 innings of work this year (17.2 frames more than his three-year pro total coming into the season), didn’t pitch. The Rangers’ number one prospect, according to Baseball America and many others, is not hurt. He’s fine. Mike Hindman reports this morning on the Dallas Morning News blog, in fact, that Feliz, according to the Rangers, will pitch tomorrow.
Saltalamacchia is playing at the same level he was at when Texas acquired him from Atlanta almost exactly one year ago.
Harrison is playing two levels up.
Andrus is playing one level up.
Jones is playing two levels up.
Feliz is playing three levels up.
The Braves, five games under .500, 6.5 games back (and three teams) in the NL East, and hopelessly out of the Wild Card race, are trying to decide whether to trade Mark Teixeira in the next four days, measuring whether they’d be better off accepting one of the offers from a reportedly diminishing list of suitors (the Dodgers, Angels, and Red Sox are apparently the most interested) or just keeping Teixeira for the next two months and getting a couple compensatory draft picks for him. Not sure whether Manny Ramirez’s possible entry into this week’s trade mix affects Teixeira’s market.
Teixeira is having another outstanding season. But Atlanta, after having gone to the playoffs 14 non-strike years out of 15, will not have gone to the playoffs in two seasons with him.
Meanwhile, Ron Mahay is in Kansas City and might be the most coveted left-handed reliever on the market right now.
Have a great day.