Originally written May 01, 2013 on Fox Sports South:
ATLANTA -- There are things more important than baseball. Both the Braves and the Nationals know it, and that's why both managers were visibly concerned upon learning that an Atlanta-based cameraman had passed away at an area hospital after suffering a heart attack at Turner Field on Wednesday night. Reuben Porras, 61, from Newnan, Ga., was working for the MLB Network when he collapsed near the Nationals' dugout prior the game. No pulse or respiration could be found, but Porras was revived on the spot by Washington head trainer Lee Kuntz and assistant strength coach John Hsu, who used an external defibrillator that had just recently been installed in the visitors clubhouse.Porras was rushed to Grady Memorial Hospital and admitted to the ICU, but he passed away later in the evening.Players were unaware of the incident, as were the fans who were treated to fast-paced defensive duel that ended in the Nationals favor. Jordan Zimmermann made quick work of the Braves, winning 2-0 in 2 hours, 15 minutes on a night when both Zimmermann and Atlanta starter Paul Maholm threw a lot of great pitches.Here are the three takeaways from pitchers' duel: 1. The strikeouts are going to come. Even with the best record in the National League, and one of the most dangerous lineups in baseball, the strikeouts are coming early and often. And while the number of whiffs is a concern to the average fan, Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said he is not concerned about the number of strikeouts. Everybody keeps asking me the same question, so Ill keep giving the same answer, Gonzalez said afterward. At certain times in the game, sure (strikeouts are a concern). When youve got a man on third base and the infield is (playing) in or out and you need a productive out, a fly ball or a ground ball up the middle, sure a strikeout is a concern then.Other than that, this was what we were built as. Teams that dont strike out are probably complaining that they dont have any power in the lineups.Still, the numbers are jarring. The Braves are averaging 9.5 strikeouts a game, more than one an inning. But at least they broke a streak of sorts. Prior to Wednesday night they had whiffed at least 10 times in six straight games. Against Zimmerman and the Nationals they only had nine. The worst struggles seem to be coming from Dan Uggla, who struck out twice in three at-bats. In a one-game snapshot, that doesnt sound too bad, especially when you consider that B.J. Upton and Juan Francisco also went down on strikes twice. But when you look at the totality of Ugglas numbers, the picture becomes more troubling. In 86 plate appearances this season, Uggla has struck out 38 times, a 44 percent ratio to go with 14 hits and 15 walks. He has three times as many strikeouts as he has runs scored. On May 1 those numbers arent a monumental concern -- the sample size is still small and every player will go through a slump or two before the end of the year. But it isnt something to ignore either.Its a shame we couldnt scrape something across for Paul, Uggla said afterward. He pitched a great game. 2. Andrelton Simmons continues to make it look easy. The greats make difficult plays look routine. At age 23, Simmons is far too young and green to be mentioned in the same breath with Derek, Ozzie, Cal or Concepcion, but if he remains healthy and agile -- big ifs given his style of play and the fact that he was on the DL last year and has already missed games this season -- he could become the best defensive shortstop in baseball in a very short time frame.Those are not easy plays hes making, said two-time MVP and now Fox Sports South analyst Dale Murphy after watching Simmons snag one hot shot after another and then fire this throws to first for what looked to the casual observer like easy outs. He gobbles them up. Simmons had 62 assists, 34 putouts and 15 double plays in 199 innings of work. But he must be seen to be fully appreciated. Without Simmons, the Braves would have given up at least six hits and perhaps a couple of more runs Wednesday night. With him, they were in it until the last at-bat. He does so many things so instinctively well, Braves general manager Frank Wren said just prior to Opening Day. He's got sure hands. He has an uncanny ability to read hops and get hops. And if he doesn't get the hop, he still catches the ball. I think that's what I've marveled at.Wren isnt alone. After Simmons snapped up one sharply hit ball Wednesday night, Murphy just turned away, shook his head and said, Wow. 3. Paul Maholm is very close to being very good. Maholm made one big mistake. It cost him another loss. Maholm surrendered a two-run homer to Ian Desmond on a hanging curveball for the only runs of the night. The rest of Maholms 98 pitches were very close to being right where he wanted them. I thought Paulie did a great job, Gonzalez said. It was a great start, and one of the shortest starts hes had since we got him from the Cubs. I was kicking around running him back out there (in the ninth inning), but we try to keep him at the 100-pitch mark. With our power and our offense, a two-run game, youre a base-on-ball and somebody hitting it in the stands away and weve got a tie ball game. He gave up three hits, two of them in the infield and one of them to the pitcher and he loses the game 2-0 because Desmond got him. He was good. Both (of the starting pitchers) were good, but there werent a lot of good swings from either club.And while Maholm was unhappy with the outcome, he took a lot of positives away from the process.Obviously the one pitch wasnt terrible, but it wasnt one that I wanted. I walked the leadoff guy and hung a curveball. Other than that it was a good night. I was keeping (the pitches) down and getting ahead (in the count), being aggressive and getting some ground balls and pop ups, so other than the one pitch it wasnt bad.
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Royals beat A's in extras, win first playoff game since '85

Mark Davis: Raiders head coaching job will be 'enticing'

Fan on Craigslist offers Nats playoff tickets for threesome

Brady snubs rookie Garoppolo after touchdown pass

Cung Le suspended for failed HGH test

FCC Chairman: Washington nickname 'inappropriate today'

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Brain study finds 76 of 79 deceased NFL players had CTE

Tony Sparano to step in as Raiders head coach

Eli on Geno Smith: If fans yell at you, you probably deserve it

49ers players come out in support of Jim Harbaugh

Raiders reportedly expected to make a run at Jon Gruden

FCC unanimously ends sports blackout rule

MLB.com posts wrong story saying A's won game

WATCH: Brett Favre in new nose hair trimmer commercial

WATCH: Michigan students protest, call for AD to be fired

Marlins president: We're not trading Giancarlo Stanton

Heckling Knicks fan suing team over ejection

This weekend in NFL stupid

Kobe: Iggy Azalea has had better career than Swaggy P

College football's post-Week 5 playoff projection

Oregon to don pink-themed unis for breast cancer awareness

Is DeMarco Murray the best RB in the NFL?

WATCH: TBS sends up 'Boom Goes the Dynamite' with promo

Ilya Bryzgalov takes photos with fans while on the bench

All Sports News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

WATCH: Brett Favre in new commercial

Brady snubs rookie after TD pass

FCC: Washington nickname 'inappropriate today'

Could Jon Gruden return to Oakland?

Marlins: We're not trading Stanton

Study: 76 of 79 deceased NFL players had CTE

Heckling fan sues Knicks over ejection

Sparano to step in as Raiders head coach

This weekend in NFL stupid

Kobe chooses Iggy over Swaggy P

Is DeMarco Murray the NFL's best RB?

Ilya Bryzgalov takes photos with fans while on the bench

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.