Found September 06, 2012 on
Fox Sports South:
ATLANTA Mike Minor had a simple explanation why the Colorado Rockies couldnt touch his pitches.
I threw a lot of crap in there early, he said. I dont think they knew what was coming.
If confusion was his best ally, he should employ it more often. Minor struggled with his control, as has often been the case this year, but he didnt allow a hit until the seventh inning on Wednesday night, leading the Braves to 1-0 victory over the Rockies.
It was not only one of the top performances of his short career, it was another step in Minors yearlong maturation process. It showed how far hes progressed since his rough stretches earlier this season, when hits and walks would be magnified by more mistakes.
Hes turned the page. Hes become a completely different pitcher, closer Craig Kimbrel said. Hes attacking guys, hes going right at them. He doesnt seem as timid out there on the mound. It seems like hes more in control when hes out there, and youve seen it with his outings. Hes really become a better pitcher.
Minor slowly and gradually has become one of the Braves most reliable starters.
Kris Medlen has made a sudden impact on the rotation, but Minors has been a steady climb since since May, when a string of terrible outings left him battling Randall Delgado for a spot in the rotation and on the team.
A trip to Triple-A Gwinnett seemed to be in his future.
But Minor has been remarkably consistent and efficient the past two months, allowing 20 earned runs in his past 69.2 innings for a 2.58 ERA since July 1. He hasnt given up more than four earned runs in a start since May 16, and he posted three starts in the past two months where he allowed a combined three runs in 21 innings. Thats lowered his seasons ERA from a high of 7.09 in May to its current 4.58.
Minor wasnt dominant against the Rockies, walking four, but a ball didnt fall for a hit until Jordan Pacheco led off the seventh with a single.
I didnt even feel like I was throwing that great, Minor said. Then I looked back. I actually didnt know until the fifth. I looked back and saw no hits. Because of a couple of walks, a couple of hard hits, I didnt really feel like I was throwing that great.
He said he was wildly effective throughout, walking Carlos Gonzalez and Pacheco with two outs in the first, but they were left stranded. Minor also walked Dexter Fowler in the sixth and Andrew Brown in the seventh, but they also didnt hurt.
The four walks were the most by Minor in a game since June 30. Its an area where hes shown drastic improvement.
After walking 38 batters in his first 85.2 innings this season, hes allowed only 13 in his past 69.2. Not coincidentally, thats when his ERA started to plummet.
Kind of just dodged them, I guess, Minor said. To me it wasnt one of my best starts, but like you said, on paper it looks good. I just got lucky enough. They had a couple of guys on and I got out of it again. My walks didnt hurt me this time. I didnt give up a home run. Thats always good. I just kind of dodged them.
Minor had shown flashes of brilliance before, including a five-hit, eight-strikeout victory over Toronto on June 20, 2011, going 5-0 in a seven-start stretch last year and even throwing consecutive strong starts this past April.
But the past two months have shown that Minor could be finally securing his spot in the Braves rotation for the next few years. His ERA during that time is a better indicator of his success than his 4-4 record (8-10 overall in 2012) because his teammates have scored few runs to support his pitching.
But on Wednesday, one was enough.
You can always say youve learned everything and youve learned a lot this year and next year is going to be better, Minor said. Every year is experience. Guys go through ups and downs, and its the way you handle it and the way you bounce back.
BEST OF MAXIM
AROUND THE WEB
The Braves are in a tight wild card race with less than 30 games left in the regular season, so at this point it’s safe to say every inning counts. Despite the fact that Atlanta has been in the hunt all season and almost always seems to be in the hunt, they rank in the middle of the pack in average attendance for home games.
Turner Field isn’t exactly Yankee Stadium when it...
ATLANTA -- There was a time, not too long ago, when I thought Brian McCann would be the next face of the Braves.
In my mind, he was the only candidate to replace Chipper Jones as the heart and soul of the franchise. He would be the guy in the commercials and doing the video announcements at Turner Field and spending his entire career in the familiar uniform.
Who would be a better...
ATLANTA If you dont recognize all the new faces in the Braves dugout, dont worry. You have company.
The Braves, like all the clubs in the majors, have been adding players to their rosters since Sept. 1, when they expanded from 25 to 40 players.Lets take a look at the recent additions, some of who are familiar faces, and some arent:
Complete game. NL Player of the Month. No biggie.
It really hurts my heart that I can't cheer for Meds anymore. He was one of my favorites, on my list of "I'm going to get his shirsey" players. But if you were in my shoes, how would you feel, not knowing why? I'm not a stalker, I never asked him for a mention or a RT, and I've always been supportive....
ATLANTA (AP) -- Mike Minor held Colorado hitless for six innings, Craig Kimbrel earned a four-out save and the Atlanta Braves beat the Rockies 1-0 on Wednesday night.
Minor (8-10) lost a no-hit bid in the seventh when Jordan Pacheco led off with a single. Pacheco stole second, but was stranded when Minor struck out Ramon Hernandez swinging, Chris Nelson on a foul tip and Andrew...
The Chipper Jones farewell tour that has been making its way across the country since the season began is slowly coming to an end. With time running out on the career of the future Hall of Famer there are only a few more road games left for the Braves before the playoffs start, [...]
Jim Tracy wasn't sure what happened. All of a sudden, the ball was rolling behind the pitcher's mound, and Juan Francisco was racing home with a run for the Atlanta Braves.
As it turned out, with the only run of the game.
An inexplicable error on a routine toss from the catcher to pitcher wound up costing the Colorado Rockies a second straight 1-0 loss to the Braves on...
ATLANTA (AP) -- Tim Hudson pitched seven scoreless innings and the Atlanta Braves posted their second straight 1-0 victory over the Colorado Rockies on Thursday, winning both times with an unearned run.
This was an especially galling loss for the Rockies. Juan Francisco raced home with the lone run when Colorado starter Jhoulys Chacin (2-5) dropped a routine throw back to the mound...
NEW YORK (AP) -- Paul Maholm and the Atlanta Braves are making their best pitch for the playoffs.
Maholm and the Braves bullpen combined to give Atlanta three straight shutouts for the first time in exactly a decade, and the NL wild-card leaders beat the New York Mets 3-0 on Friday night.
Coming off two 1-0 wins over Colorado, the Braves' staff stretched its scoreless streak...
NEW YORK (AP) -- Every which way Chipper Jones turned at Citi Field, someone wanted to thank him.
Mets chief operating officer Jeff Wilpon presented the Atlanta star with a pricey piece of 3-D artwork. A policeman gave him a firm handshake, an usher provided a pat on the back. A man intercepted Jones in the hallway near the clubhouse, reached into a shopping bag and handed over...
Believe it or not, the Mets have actually been winning games here lately. Tonight they begin a three-game series at home with the Atlanta Braves and will aim to keep the good times rolling.
New York has finally started to start piecing together wins, having gone 8-3 over their last 11 games to put them at 65-72 on the season. It’s obviously still been a disappointing season overall...
Mike Minor held Colorado hitless for six innings, Craig Kimbrel earned a four-out save and the Atlanta Braves beat the Rockies 1-0 on Wednesday night.
Minor (8-10) lost a no-hit bid in the seventh when Jordan Pacheco led off with a single. Pacheco stole second, but was stranded when Minor struck out Ramon Hernandez swinging, Chris Nelson on a foul tip and Andrew Brown looking.