Each day I scour the box scores of Braves minor league affiliates in search of good news. As the parent club’s season comes crashing down with a thud, I recommend you do the same.
Yesterday, for example, Mallex Smith, just promoted to Gwinnett, went 3-for-5 with 3 steals. That helped alleviate the sour taste of another baffling Teheran fail. Last weekend, as the Braves were losing to Washington, I took solace in Manny Banuelos’ shutout.
Today we’ll see Touki Toussaint’s organizational debut tonight for Rome, a start that interests me as much as Alex Wood’s in Steeltown. It would be heartening to see Wood circa 2014 — he has not pitched nearly as well as his 3.44 ERA indicates. Opposing hitters are batting .293 against the Braves southpaw and his strikeouts per nine are down significantly.
He’ll need to be on his game because today’s line-up is unlikely to produce much. I’d venture to guess no MLB team has hit a player with an OPS under .600 in the clean-up spot.
Peterson, Maybin, Markakis, CJ 1B, Pierzynski, Ciriaco 3B, Gomes, Simmons, Wood