Even with another subpar performance by Braves starter Mike Minor, the Braves offense was able to come up with enough clutch hitting to grab a 5-4 victory against the Mets Tuesday night.
Each of the five runs scored by the Braves tonight came with two-outs. What’s even more impressive about that was that all five runs came without hitting a homerun, something the Braves lineup has relied heavily on this year. During this six game win streak the Braves have scored 32 runs and only 4 of them have come by the long ball. The Braves lineup is doing the little things such as moving runners over, being aggressive on the base paths, and getting those runners in from third base with less than two outs. Those are the things you need to do as a team to have a sustained success.
The big inning for the Braves came in the 4th inning. Chris Johnson led the inning off with a walk. La Stella was able to move Johnson over to second base with a ground out. After Bethancourt struck out you might have thought the inning was over with the pitcher Mike Minor coming to the plate with two-outs. Not so fast, Minor swung at the first pitch he saw and grounded it up the middle to drive in Johnson. B.J. Upton followed with a single of his own, making it a 8-game hit streak since batting leadoff, and stole second base to put the runners at second and third with two-outs and Andrelton Simmons coming to the plate. Simmons smashed a 2-2 slider through the left side of the infield to drive in two runs and give the Braves a 5-2 lead.
It seemed Mike Minor had a better night at the plate than on the mound. The very next inning Minor gave up a one-out walk to Ruben Tejada after he was ahead in the count 0-2. To make matters worse, Minor gave up a 2-run homerun to Daniel Murphy the very next at-bat. Minor eventually was pulled from the game in the same inning after giving up consecutive singles after the homerun by Murphy. Mike Minor only lasted 4.1 innings allowing four runs on nine hits. Tough break for Minor as he wasn’t able to pick up the win, but Shae Simmons came in and earned his first career win after going 1.2 innings of no hit, no run ball. That included getting out of the first and third, nobody out jam Minor created.
The Braves bullpen was the best it’s been in a long time. The bullpen went a combined 4.2 shutout innings allowing only one hit, and striking out eight batters. Craig Kimbrel picked up his 26th save of the season while striking out the side. Kimbrel had good command of his fastball and even better command of his breaking ball. The Mets hitters had no chance against Kimbrel tonight.