The Braves had been internally debating for a while what to do when Brandon Beachy is activated from the disabled list. Would they use the 26-man rule to use him for Tuesday’s double-header against the Mets, and then figure it out in a week? Would they move Kris Medlen to the bullpen? Or attempt to trade either Tim Hudson or Paul Maholm? It is no longer an issue as Beachy has been scratched from that Tuesday start after a disappointing performance in his latest rehab start.
David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution described Beachy’s concerning performance:
Beachy struggled with his command in three innings for Triple-A Gwinnett Thursday night in Rochester, walking four and allowing three runs (two earned) while throwing only 38 strikes in 69 pitches.
The Braves had planned to back Beachy down Thursday night for the final scheduled outing of his minor league rehabilitation assignment, with a limit of 80-85 pitches. So the fact that he only threw 69 pitches over three innings wasn’t a big issue. But he pitched behind for much of the outing and needed 53 pitches to get through the first two innings.
Braves GM Frank Wren wouldn’t reveal the team’s plan for Tuesday’s double-header with the Mets now that Beachy is a no-go. O’Brien speculates reliever Alex Wood could fill in for a spot start, but Wren had previously said they wouldn’t let him get to 100 pitches, meaning it would be a taxing day for the bullpen.
Update (11:09 PM EDT):
From unlucky to lucky, the Cardinals maintained their position in the National League Wild Card race with walk-off victory over the Reds on Thursday night.
The Cardinals went into the top of the ninth with a 3-2 lead over the Reds, but saw the game tied when Scott Schebler dribbled a two-strike, two out ground ball down the third base line. It seemed as if the baseball gods had turned their backs on the Cardinals.
In the bottom of the ninth against reliever Blake Wood, Matt Carpenter drew a one-out walk. Randal Grichuk then struck out, leaving all of the Cardinals’ hopes on Yadier Molina. Molina went ahead 2-0 in the count, then ripped a 95 MPH fastball to left field. The ball bounced high and over the left field fence for what seemed like an obvious ground-rule double. Carpenter motored around third base and scored the winning run.
The Cardinals poured onto the field in celebration and the umpires walked off the field. Manager Bryan Price wanted to have the play reviewed, but when he went onto the field, the umpires were nowhere to be found. Price chased after them but to no avail. As the Cardinals left the field and the stadium emptied, the Reds remained in the dugout. The Reds’ relievers were left in a bit of purgatory, standing aimlessly in left field after exiting the bullpen. Finally, the game was announced as complete over the P.A. system at Busch Stadium. The results are great if you’re a Cardinals fan, but terrible if you’re a Mets or Giants fan.
As Jon Morosi points out, the rules clearly state that the signage above the fence in left field is out of the field of play. The umpires got it wrong.
Price, however, also took too long to speak to the umpires. Per Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch:
If this happened between two teams playing a meaningless game, it would’ve been a lot easier to swallow, but Thursday’s Reds-Cardinals game had implications on not only the Cardinals’ future, but the Mets’ and Giants’ as well.
Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman went 0-for-4 during Thursday’s win against the Phillies, snapping his hitting streak at 30 games. It marked the longest hitting streak of the 2016 season. Freeman’s streak of 46 consecutive games reaching base safely ended as well.
The longest hitting streak in Atlanta Braves history belongs to Dan Uggla, who hit in 33 consecutive games in 2011. Tommy Holmes hit in 37 straight for the Boston Braves in 1945.
During his hitting streak, Freeman hit .384/.485/.670 with 11 doubles, seven home runs, 27 RBI, and 26 runs scored in 136 plate appearances. That padded what were already very strong numbers on the season. After Thursday’s game, Freeman is overall batting .306/.404/.572 with 33 home runs, 88 RBI< and 101 runs scored in 677 plate appearances.