Atlanta Braves news and links: Walk-off weekend

The Braves came from behind twice to win this weekend, and both wins had Brandon Phillips hitting the winner. This was fun!

BRAVES NEWS

Brandon Phillips delivers second walk-off hit in as many days

Saturday’s game between the Braves and Marlins ended in extra innings with Brandon Phillips hitting a walk-off single to win the game for Atlanta. Sunday’s game must have had Miami in a bad state of deja vu, because Brandon Phillips ended it in the same way he ended Saturday’s game. He poked a grounder right up the middle through Miami’s five-man infield to give the Braves another walk-off victory.

Braves will go with six-man rotation for a bit

Bartolo Colon is going to make his return to the rotation this week since he’s “healed up” from his “strained oblique muscle” that sent him to the 10-day disabled list. However, the emergence of Sean Newcomb as a viable starter has made things interesting, which means that Brian Snitker has made the decision to go with a six-man rotation for the time being. Dave O’Brien of the AJC reported on the decision.

Colon, 44, has a 2-7 record and a 7.78 ERA that is the worst among major league starters. He also has a $12.5 million salary, and the Braves weren’t ready to eat that money and release him.

Newcomb, who was brought up from Triple-A to start one of the doubleheader games against the Mets on Saturday, was so impressive — 6 1/3 innings, four hits, one unearned run, two walks, seven strikeouts — that the Braves don’t want to send him back to the minors, at least for now.

So the solution they came up with for the immediate future is to go with six starters. The situation could change by next month, when Garcia is among the Braves who figure to draw the most trade interest before the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline. He’s in the last year of his contract and has been the Braves’ best and most consistent starter (3.16 ERA) despite a 2-5 record that’s a result mainly of poor run support.

Newcomb’s resolve impresses the rest of the clubhouse

Speaking of Newcomb, despite the fact that he’s gotten literally zero run support over his first two starts, his efforts on the mound haven’t gone unnoticed. He’s off to a solid start to his major league career so far, and the rest of the clubhouse has taken notice of the resolve that he’s shown in the face of tough situations. Nubyjas Wilson of the Marietta Daily Journal shared what Brandon Phillips thought of Newcomb so far.

Snitker was not the only one to notice. Braves second baseman Brandon Phillips, who made his major league debut when the 24-year-old Newcomb was 9, said he saw something special in the rookie.

“The kid showed me something (Friday),” Phillips said. “We already knew he had the fastball and the pretty curveball, but a lot of guys have good stuff. (On Friday), he showed heart. A lot of young guys don’t get the opportunity to battle through those jams. I just hate that we didn’t get him any runs.”

What does the future hold for Matt Adams?

Meanwhile, Matt Adams played a big role in the Braves’ victory on Saturday. He may not be hitting at the clip that Freddie Freeman was before a ball to the wrist put him on the shelf, but Adams has definitely been pulling his weight since arriving in Braves Country. However, Freeman will eventually return and that’s when the Braves will be at a bit of a crossroads when it comes to Adams. The crew at Tomahawk Take has some ideas about what to do with Adams when that time comes.

John Coppolella could always trade Matt Adams before the July 31st Non-Waiver Trade Deadline. While we’re starting to see light at the end of the tunnel from the rebuild as Braves fans, it would be a viable option to trade him while his value is at its highest.

Play him some at third base. Adams is a more polished hitter than Rio Ruiz and Johan Camargo. But then again, Atlanta might want to let its younger players go through growing pains at the major league level.

Trade Nick Markakis and get Adams’ feet wet a bit more in the outfield. Markakis could be a potential trade chip as a defensive upgrade in right field for some contending teams.

MLB NEWS

Arenado hits for cycle as Colorado sweeps San Francisco

You know things are going well when you sweep anybody over four games. You know things are going great when it puts further distance between yourselves and a divisional rival. You know things are going fantastically well when your star player — in this case, Nolan Arenado — completes the sweep by hitting a walk-off homer that was also for the cycle. Life is good for the Colorado Rockies right now, and the Giants will be coming into Cobb County in a bit of a nadir.

Boston goes to the top of the AL East after beating Houston

Thanks to the Yankees getting swept in Oakland and a resilient effort from themselves against the formidable Houston Astros, the Boston Red Sox are now back at the top of the AL East. They beat the Astros 6-5 in an intense contest, but there was a bit of controversy when Yuli Gurriel got the gate for showing displeasure with a strikeout call late in the game. He probably had a point.

All three strikes were called. Thanks, Greg Gibson! pic.twitter.com/OSG8OM8XKk

— Paul Swydan (@Swydan) June 19, 2017

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