Is Andrelton Simmons for Real?

Simmons Kimbrel

The Braves and Reds tangle again tonight at 7:10

How ’bout Andrelton Simmons last night?  He went 3 for 4 with 2 home runs and 3 RBI and made a play at second base that still has me scratching my head.  If he makes that play in the seventh game of the World Series it would be legendary.  Check out the video at:  Andrelton Simmons Great Play

With last night’s win the Braves equaled last season’s win total (one) against the Reds, and exceeded last season’s win total at Great American Park (zero).  The Braves failed to log a win last year at GAP in four attempts.

Think the boss works you too hard?   On April 26 the Braves started a stretch where they will play 56 games in 59 days, 28 will be at home, 28 on the road.  Of course you probably don’t make quite as much money as the average major league player, nor do you stay in the same hotels or eat in the same restaurants.

With Monday night’s save, Braves closer Craig Kimbrel now has 99.  Kimbrel has converted 99 of 112 save opportunities in his career, and is considered by many to be the best closer in baseball.  We all remember what a great starter that John Smoltz was, but did you know that Smoltz got his 100th save in only his 107th save opportunity?  That places Smoltz second on the all-time list, Eric Gagne recorded his 100th save in his 104th opportunity.

Good to see Brian McCann back in action last night.  He didn’t have a particularly good night at the plate, going 0 for 4 with a walk.  But he took some good swings and looked fluid behind the plate.  Gattis stayed in the line-up in left field with Justin Upton moving over to right.  Gattis moves pretty well in the outfield, although on the ball he booted he looked like a catcher blocking one in the dirt and not an outfielder who instinctively gets into position to catch the ball.  I think he will be okay as he gets more time out there.

As I wrote in an article earlier today, the Braves bullpen has stumbled a little bit lately.  The bullpen’s ERA was 1.94 entering Friday night’s ball game, it is now up a half run to 2.48 which still leads the major leagues.

About Jim Hart

Jim has covered the Atlanta Braves since 2008 for local and national broadcast news organizations. He also appears regularly talking Braves baseball on WCCP-FM in Clemson, South Carolina, and the ESPN Radio affiliate, 1420 Sports in St. Augustine, Florida.

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