No one does getaway like the Atlanta Braves.
A night after a thrilling extra innings win and a few hours before hopping on a plane to Denver, the Braves got shutout on three hits by Joe Blanton and the Phillies, who prevailed 4-0. And they didn’t mess about, either: they made Blanton throw all of 88 pitches. The game took a cool two hours and two minutes. It was like Greg Maddux came forward in time from 1994 and was traded to Philly for Ricky Jordan, Kim Batiste and a player to be named later.
Great work by Blanton, obviously. Pound the zone — 67 of his 88 pitches were strikes — and make the offense try to hit you. It’s not his fault if the Braves didn’t seem all that interested in doing it.
But really, Atlanta: the next time you take a dive, at least try to sell it. The next time you mail it in, at least put a stamp on it. The next time you leave for getaway day, at least try to show up at the ballpark first.
Update (12:58 AM ET): Per Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle, Samardzija has been diagnosed with a strained pectoral muscle. He’ll be shut down for a week. That’s good news for the Giants, considering the alternatives.
Giants starter Jeff Samardzija will undergo an MRI on his ailing right shoulder, according to NBC Sports Bay Area. The right-hander struggled in a minor league game on Wednesday, surrendering a pair of home runs and hitting a batter. Overall this spring, Samardzija has given up 15 runs (13 earned) on 17 hits (six homers) and seven walks with seven strikeouts in 11 innings.
This may mean Samardzija won’t be ready for the start of the regular season. Derek Holland would likely replace Samardzija in the rotation. Holland had been competing for the No. 5 spot in the Giants’ rotation.
Samardzija led the National League in losses last season with 15, also posting a 4.42 ERA with a 205/32 K/BB ratio in a league-high 207 2/3 innings. Since becoming a starter, Samardzija has been able to avoid injury, making 32 or 33 starts in each of the last five seasons.