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Tom Gieryn: July 7 recap

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Braves 2, Cubs 1

MVP: Javier Vazquez.  Seven innings of one-run baseball in a close game...that's an ace for you right there.
LVP: Yunel Escobar.  0-for-4 with two strikeouts, both of which came with men on base.  He wasn't far from the only hitter with a negative WPA though..
MIP: Brian McCann's RBI double with two outs in the third to break the 1-1 tie and put the Bravos ahead for good.
UotG: Starting pitching.  Vazquez pretty much won this game by himself, posting a WPA of .413.

Minors

Gwinnett: Reid Gorecki's name probably shouldn't keep showing up here, because he really isn't a prospect, but I still think he could be somebody's fifth outfielder someday; anyway, he had two more hits (both doubles) in three at-bats today, and he's now hitting .282/.351/.576 over the last month.  Brandon Jones singled twice for the other multi-hit game.  Jo-Jo Reyes appeared from the injury shadows again, tossing two scoreless innings with two strikeouts, and lefty reliever Kevin Gunderson's Triple-A debut was a rocky one (2 ER in 2/3 of an inning).

Mississippi: Jason Heyward doubled and walked in five trips, which is about all the offense the M-Braves mustered in this 6-0 loss.  Scott Diamond with yet another solid start here: seven innings, three earned runs, one walk, ten strikeouts.  Brent Butts (nephew of Braves' former bullpen catcher Alan Butts) tossed 1 1/3 scoreless innings to close...he's one of those guys I just sort of irrationally like, even though his best case is that he turns out to be a middle reliever someday.

Myrtle Beach: No extra base hits for the Pelicans in this game; the only multi-hit game came from the recently-promoted slugging first baseman Gerardo Rodriguez.  G-Rod has great power, but he'll have to improve his plate discipline a ton if he ever wants to play major-league baseball.  Still, he's not a bad find for the Braves, as he was released from the Yankees system after the 2007 season.  The worse news, though, is that Cole Rohrbough continues to get shelled...this time he went just 2 2/3 innings, yielding six runs on five hits, five walks and three strikeouts.  His ERA stands at 5.97.  At some point you start to hope he is hurting because at least that would give an explanation other than ineffectiveness.  Young closer prospect Benino Pruneda (who has touched 100 on the gun) gave up three runs in 2 2/3 innings, but promising Craig Kimbrel and beleaguered Rudy Darrow (acquired for Josh Anderson, sine dealt with injury and control issues) combined for two perfect innings with five strikeouts between them.

Rome: Last year's 30th-round pick Chris Shehan had two hits, as did third baseman Samuel Sime, who started the season on fire but has since cooled off in a big way.  The star of the show here was Zeke Spruill, who came off his Sally League All-Star appearance to toss eight three-hit, shutout innings with ten strikeouts.

Danville: Danville beat Pulaski 23-7, so this contest was all offense, and the box score frankly looks pretty ridiculous.  Mycal Jones went 3-for-4 including a home run, walked, scored three times and drove in two.  Riaan Spanjer-Furstenburg went 3-for-5, doubled and walked twice (he's now hitting .494/.508/.754 in 57 ABs).  Robby Hefflinger smacked a homer in a 2-for-5 day, and added a walk but did strikeout three times.  Three more '09 draftees hit home runs: 14th-round outfielder Cory Harrilchak (who went 5-for-7 in the game), 13th-round third baseman Jordan Kreke, and 31st-round first baseman Derek Wiley.

GCL: Almost literally nothing notable here, as the complex league Braves managed just three hits, and while the pitchers did toss seven shutout innings in a shortened game, none of the guys who participated are really prospects.

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