• Exclusives

    Braves hold ground, miss chance at first place

    In a 162-game season there are plenty of opportunities to take and lose the division lead, however none present themselves quite like a face off with the rival Washington Nationals in a 4-game series. The Braves entered the series 1 1/2 games behind Washington in the National League East. The Nats entered with a 2-game winning streak while Atlanta had just lost 3 straight to the Phillies. Despite having won 19 of 26 of their last meetings, the Braves spit the series 2-2 with the Nats, rolling through the first 2 games and then scoring only 1 run in the final 2 games.

    Floyd pitched 6 strong innings, giving up only 2 hits and 0 runs before leaving the game with a fractured elbow.

    Floyd pitched 6 strong innings, giving up only 2 hits and 0 runs before leaving the game with a fractured elbow.

    The pitching curse of 2014 once again reared its ugly head in D.C. when veteran Gavin Floyd took the mound. Despite recording the win on 6 innings of work where he gave up only 2 hits and didn’t allow a run, Floyd left the game with what appeared to be a nasty fluid sac on his pitching elbow. After the game Floyd was examined by the Nats’ doctors and it was announced that he had a fractured elbow. The Braves took a chance on Floyd in the offseason while he was still recovering from Tommy John surgery. In 9 starts, Floyd put together a 2-2 record with a 2.65 ERA in 54 1/3 innings pitched. He held opponents to a .266 average, allowed 16 total runs and 45 strikeouts.

    Atlanta announced today that Floyd would undergo surgery on his fractured elbow Wednesday. After being pulled from the start in D.C., Floyd was placed on the 15-day DL and Ryan Butcher was called up from Gwinnett. The Braves have scheduled Alex Wood to rejoin the club and take Floyd’s spot in the rotation Wednesday. There is no timetable on Floyd’s recovery due to the unusual nature of his injury and the speed in which the bone heals.

    Evan Gattis saw his 20-game hit streak come to an end in the final game of the series. Over that span, he hit .372 (32-for-86) with 3 doubles, 8 homers & 21 RBIs. His 20-game hit streak matched the streak of Jason Kendall in 2004 with the Pirates–the longest by a catcher who caught every game during the streak. Gattis has improved on defense this season, too. His hitting is not the only part of his game. During his 20-game hit streak he also went errorless behind the plate with 13 assists.


    Atlanta continues their road trip following a day off with a 3-game series in Houston before heading to Philly for the weekend. Houston sits at the bottom of the AL East, but has put together a much better pitching staff than last year. The Astros are 33-and-44 and 14 1/2 games back in the division. The Braves enter the series 38-and-37.

    As Alex Wood joins the rotation on Wednesday, look for either Beato or Butcher to be sent back down to Gwinnett to make room on the roster. Also look to see Justin Upton in the lineup going forward as he appears to be on the mend from the sinus problems that caused dizziness and his equilibrium to be off over the last week.

    The Braves will open the series in Houston with Harang (5-6, 3.83) vs. Feldman (3-4, 3.95). Wednesday’s game with feature the returning Wood (5-6, 3.43) vs. McHugh (4-5, 2.76). The final game against the Astros will pit Minor (2-4, 4.20) vs. Cosart (7-5, 3.78).

    Tara Rowe is an independent historian and beat writer for BravesWire.com. Follow Tara on Twitter @framethepitch.