Thursday's postgame Braves notes
Braves vs. Blue Jays: The Blue Jays and Braves met for the third and final time in the 2020 regular season…This is the fourth consecutive year Toronto and Atlanta have played…With the win, the Braves improved to 6-0-3 in series play against Toronto since 2009…The Braves also lead the all-time regular-season series, having won 30 of the 55 games, including 23-of-34 since ’09…The Braves took three-of-four games from the Blue Jays last season, including both games in Atlanta.
Nate Pearson: Made his second major league start tonight and allowed two hits, three runs, three walks and a home run…He became just the sixth pitcher in franchise history to go at least 5.0 innings in each of his first two starts and allow no more than three combined runs, joining Hall-of-Famer Roy Halladay, Brett Cecil, Mauro Gozzo, Chris Rowley, and Trent Thornton…Pearson entered the season ranked by MLB.com as the No. 9 prospect in the sport, including the second-best right-handed pitching prospect behind Detroit’s Casey Mize (No. 8)…In his first career start, July 29 at Nationals Park, he became the third pitcher in Blue Jays history to throw five-or-more scoreless innings in his major league debut, joining Mauro Gozzo (8/8/89 vs. TEX) and Trent Thornton (3/31/19 vs. DET).
Error Free: After committing one error on Opening Day at Tampa Bay, the Blue Jays have now gone nine consecutive games playing error-free defense…This is Toronto’s longest stretch without committing an error since an 11-game run in 2015, from August 6-18…The Blue Jays had two seven-game error-free stretches last season.
Lourdes Gurriel Jr.: Finished the night going 2-for-4 with a double and a run scored...He has now reached safely in all but one of his 10 games this season and is hitting .303 (10-for-33) on the season.
Bo Bichette: Hit the first pitch he saw in the top of the fourth inning over the wall in left-center for his first home run of the season and the 12 of his career…Hit his 12 career homer in his 53 career game, the fewest amount of games to reach 12 homers in franchise history…Eric Hinkse hit 12 in his first 56 games to hold the record previously….Bichette has multi-hit games in three of his first six games this year, and has 23 such games since debuting last year.
Walk Off: Nick Markakis drove the first pitch he saw in the bottom of the ninth inning out to right field to give Atlanta its first walk-off win of the season and its third win in its final at-bat…The win marked the Braves’ 80th victory in their final at-bat since Brian Snitker took over as interim manager on May 17, 2016...That total is the most in the majors since that date.
Nick Markakis: Started his first game of the year following his reinstatement from the restricted list prior to yesterday’s game, after he initially elected not to play the 2020 season…Gave Atlanta the 4-3 win after homering in the ninth inning, his 10 career walk-off RBI and his second such home run…The walk-off RBI was his first since hitting a game-winning homer off Philadelphia’s Hector Neris on Opening Day in 2018.
Touki Toussaint: Made his eighth career start (34th total appearance) and allowed four hits, three runs and a home run while setting career highs in innings (6.2) and strikeouts (9)…He has allowed three earned runs or less in six of his first seven career starts…He faced Toronto for the first time and pitched against an American League team for the fifth time…Toussaint kept Toronto off the board early, tossing 3.0 perfect innings with four strikeouts to open the game and throwing just 32 pitches, 23 of them for strikes…Throughout his career he’s held hitters to just six hits in 58 at-bats (.103) the first time through the order.
Freddie Freeman: Drove an 0-2 pitch over the right-center field wall for a two-run homer, his second of the season, in the bottom of the first…The home run snapped a 10 at-bat hitless streak for Freeman…He finished 2-for-4 with a double.
Homer Stats: Freeman’s first-inning home run had an expected batting average of just .050 based on its exit velocity and launch angle, the lowest expected batting average for a Freeman homer since MLB started compiling Statcast data in 2015…His previous low was a homer off Milwaukee’s Corey Knebel on August 10, 2016, which had an expected batting average of just .134…Freeman’s homer tonight had the fourth-lowest exit velocity (96.7) an tied for the highest launch angle (42 degrees) for any of his home runs in the Statcast era.
Bullpen Scoreless Streak: Tyler Matzek, Shane Greene and Mark Melancon combined to pitched 2.1 scoreless innings of relief, giving the Atlanta bullpen 22.2 consecutive scoreless innings dating to August 1 vs. New York…Relievers currently on the roster have a 1.90 ERA (11 ER/52.0 IP)…The bullpen’s collective ERA this year is 2.69 (18 ER/60.1 IP) and entered play today the sixth best in the majors.
Opening Homestand: Atlanta went 7-2 on its opening homestand of the season, going 2-0 against Tampa Bay, 3-1 versus the Mets and winning two of three games from the Blue Jays… Atlanta won 50 games in their home park in a season for the first time since 2013 last year, and their .617 home winning percentage last season was tied for sixth highest in baseball.
- Notes provided by the Braves media relations department