The Braves cleaned up in Coors Field this weekend, winning three straight games for their first sweep in Colorado since 2003.
Freddie Freeman hit his sixth homer and tripled in the 7-2 victory Sunday. The Braves scored 29 runs in the three games.
Freeman is up to 26 RBI for the season, placing him third in the NL behind the Dodgers duo of Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier.
Atlanta improved to 18-11 on the season. MLB.com’s Mark Bowman pointed out that the starting pitchers the last time the Braves swept the Rockies in Coors Field were Greg Maddux, Mike Hampton and Russ Ortiz. This weekend, it was more about the bullpen, as Tim Hudson and Mike Minor were both roughed up in their starts. Brandon Beachy, though, gave the team a quality start today, surrendering two runs in 6 1/3 innings.
Bryce Harper has, in recent years, declined participation in the Home Run Derby, with his last go at it coming in 2013, losing to Yoenis Cespedes in the final round. With the All-Star Game taking place at Nationals Park in Washington, however, he has changed his mind, saying today that he will compete if he is selected for the All-Star team.
Harper is currently second in voting among National League outfielders, so he stands a pretty good chance of making it. Even if he falls off in the voting, you have to assume that the powers that be will nudge NL manager A.J. Hinch to select Harper as a reserve, partially because of his actual power — he does have 19 homers so far this year — but mostly for his star power.
Simply put, you know dang well that both Major League Baseball and the Nationals want a home town guy with big time star power in the Derby, even if he’s not having as good a year as he’s capable of. As such, figure to see Harper hitting long balls in D.C. on July 16.