This started out as a pitcher’s duel. Sean Newcomb and Jose Urena had pitched well through four and a half. Newcomb put runners on second and third in the second — one run scored — but that had been it.
But second time through the order, the Braves offense took over. They put four across in the 5th, two in the 7th, and two in the 8th. Kurt Suzuki hit a solo home run in the 7th, and Freddie Freeman hit a two-run homer in the 8th. Ender Inciarte, who in the month of May is hitting .266/.338/.500 with 4 HRs in 71 PAs, had another three hits today. All told, spots 6-8 in the lineup produced 5 hits, 3 RBIs, and a walk. Johan Camargo contributed two hits, and he’ll now be the Braves’ every day third baseman with the release of Jose Bautista.
And Newcomb dealt again. His scoreless streak ended at 21 innings, but he still went 6 IP, giving up one run. In 52.2 IP, Newcomb’s ERA is significantly lower than last year, and his FIP is a full run better than last year. You would think that would be because he’s cut down significantly on his walks. They’ve improved (5.1/9 last year to 4.1 this year), but he’s been much less hittable. He had a 9 H/9 last year, and it’s down to 6.2/9 so far this year. He’s also cut his home run rate almost in half (0.9 down to 0.5). During all this, his K rate has stayed steady (9.7 last year; 9.9 this). Very, very impressive so far this year.