Brandon Beachy is clearly the Braves’ best pitcher right now. That’s true even though the 25-year old just pitched the first complete game of his career, let alone shutout. (His previous career high in innings pitched was 7.1, which he accomplished on April 20 and last July 29.) The 122-pitch effort was also 10 pitches more than his career high.
Mac always complains that Beachy is inefficient, but it’s hard to nitpick last night. Beachy gave up five hits, four singles and a double, struck out six, and didn’t walk anybody. He didn’t even go to a three-ball count. He only went to one three-ball count. He’s just good.
The Braves didn’t take long to go up for good. Michael Bourn led off with a single, and Michael BournMartin Prado drove him home with a triple off the center fielder’s glove. Emilio Bonifacio is more of a utility player than a center fielder; it was well-hit, but Bourn would have caught that ball. (He later robbed Hanley Ramirez when he caught a ball on the warning track in center in the 4th. It was one of the few hard-hit balls all night by the Marlins.)
Of course, despite the fact that Prado got to third base with a “triple” with no outs in the first inning, the Braves stranded him there, and it looked like one of those nights. But Beachy wasn’t giving up anything, and the Braves eventually piled more runs on. Freddie Freeman, alternating between eyeglasses and contacts — take care of those peepers, Fred — hit a long solo shot in the third, and the Braves later got an RBI double from McCann and RBI singles from Bourn, Chipper Jones, Jason Heyward, and Beachy himself.