Last night was splendid. Julio pitched well, the Braves beat one of the NL’s best starters and, other than Varvaro, the entire bullpen got a badly needed night off.
The Bravos still didn’t bash the ball, but that’s understandable against Fernandez. Guy’s for real, and fun to watch. He seems to be a genuinely cool guy, even during the game. Julio looked good, too, even though he obviously didn’t have his best stuff.
From here on, Fredi has to balance resting starters and key relievers, which is to say pretty much the whole pen. A few call-ups tomorrow should make that task easier. Kameron Loe, Joe Biemel, Yohan Flande — doesn’t matter all that much who comes up. Just bodies to absorb innings. And Varavro and Ayala should also get plenty of work in September. To be sure, it ain’t over, and it would be huge to get home field. But home field isn’t much good if you enter the playoffs with your one clear competitive advantage, the bullpen, worn out and weakened.
As for tonight, the Fish starter, Jacob Turner, has pitched well. So it could be another low-scoring affair. Speaking of, the MLB Network scroll says the 15 runs the home team has scored during this five-game winning streak is the lowest total during a five-gamer since 2011, which really isn’t that long ago.
Looking to score a few more tonight will be: Schafer RF, E. Johnson LF (J. Up should be back in in a day or two, per the scribes), Freeman, C. Johnson, McCann, Uggla,, BJ, Simmons, Minor.
Lastly, the Braves brought up Constanza to replace Gattis on the roster. I’m guessing they plan to have Gattis eligible for the postseason, though you’re supposed to be on the roster Sept. 1 to be OK for the playoffs. I’m sure FW has some machinations going to make El Oso Blanco playoff-eligible, assuming he does not go 0-for-Gwinnettt.