The move was one that simply doesn’t happen often enough in Pittsburgh. Atlanta Braves Manager Fredi Gonazalez decided to play the hot card–his back-up catcher, the white bear. The rookie backup-catcher that had three game winning RBI heading into the game tonight.
Make it four.
Pinch-hitter Evan Gattis, the new cult hero in Atlanta, did it again. This time Gattis delivered a tie-breaking two-run homer on a sinker from Jared Hughes that put the game in the hands of the best closer in the game. Two runs were more than enough as Craig Kimbrel took little time to strike out the side in the Pirates ninth to preserve the 6-4 Braves win.
[Oh yeh, if you don't know Gattis--read this Forbes article. Evan Gattis is the Best Story in Baseball The picture in the top is his janitor ID, and his twitter avatar]
When was the last time a rookie was put in such a situation for the Pirates? The trust that Gonzalez has shown in Gattis is paying dividends in big ways for the streaking Braves who have lost only twice, both shutouts. We can’t help but beg to think that young players in the Pirates organization could do similar things, but it’s simply not happening at the moment.
Trust is a major element in life, it’s really mind blowing the trust that Gattis has engendered in Gonzalaez. The guy is an incredible story.
But back to the game. The wind at PNC Park turned last nights game into a hitters battle and when the game was on the line, Gonzalez made a move that some would call daring, or uncovententional.
We have to think it’s a move that Gonzalez won’t hesitate to make in the future.
The Braves got bombs from the Upton brothers as well. Both were solo shots at important times–B.J. Upton led off the game with a blast to left and Justin ripped his ninth of the year which leads MLB. Those fresh starts are working out rather well in Atlanta.
The Pirates got two imprortant offensive players in on the action as well as Russell Martin and Pedro Alvarez each hit their first homers of the season. El Toro came in riding a 4 for 45 (.089) downer, but crushed a slider an estimated 448 feet to lead off the fourth inning.
More promising news saw Travis Snider hit two doubles and Garrett Jones stayed hot as he plated two teammates as the Pirates fell one game under .500.
Jeff Locke disappointed when he had an opportunity to shine. The southpaw allowed four runs on six hits and pitched just 4.2 innings. The big crusher are the walks–the 25-year old former Braves farmhand gave up four and struckout three.
It’s really hard to see Locke sticking in this rotation with those types of outings.
The Pirates could have some help on the way as Francisco iriano will make a rehab start for the Altoona Curve tomorrow.
The southpaw will throw 65 pitches.
Tonight Tim Hudson will face Wandy Rodriguez.