So, Manny Banuelos made his major league debut against the Nationals and Max Scherzer, possibly the best right-handed pitcher in baseball. Scherzer pitched a five-hit shutout and Banuelos was removed after 5 2/3 innings, turning the ball over to the Braves’ trusty bullpen.
And somehow the Braves won. Don’t ask me how, because it beats the hell out of me. But the short of it is that Banuelos was little short of superb, throwing 48 strikes in 75 pitches, racking up seven strikeouts with no walks (though he did hit two men in the sixth, which led Fredi to yank him). He worked in the low 90s with his fastball, featuring an 80-mph changeup and a 76-mph curve. Other than a Denard Span single in the first and a Wilson Ramos single in the second, he basically didn’t allow anyone to do anything. (After the game, the Braves announced he had gotten dehydrated and cramped up, which led to his quick exit. He should be fine to make his next start on Tuesday.)
The Braves won in walkoff fashion on a Cameron Maybin single, and as we get ready to celebrate America’s birthday, I’d just like to say how happy I am that we have him. He’s something else.