Normally when the ace of your rotation is able to dodge a smash hit right back up the middle it’s a good thing. But for Angels’ ace Jered Weaver that’s not exactly the case. Weaver landed awkwardly on his left arm while dodging a come backer that was sent screaming off the bat by the Rangers’ Mitch Moreland and after having being examined on Monday it was determined that he had broken his elbow.
The Atlanta Braves are currently sitting in the driver’s seat in the NL Wild Card chase, owning a 4 game lead over Pittsburgh and St. Louis for the higher seed. But this year’s Braves team is a little different from those in the past. For starters, Atlanta has the 2nd best offense in the National League, scoring 4.68 runs per game, 3rd only to the St. Louis Cardinals and Colorado Rockies. The inability to score runs a year ago cost Atlanta dearly down the stretch, and this year’s roster doesn’t appear to have that weakness. Instead, Atlanta is struggling to put together a solid rotation, ranking just 9th in the NL in starter’s ERA and 12th in strikeouts at the All-Star break. Braves starters have struggled on the mound for a variety of reasons this season, be it ineffectiveness (Mike Minor), injury (Brandon Beachey), or in some cases, both (Jair Jurrjens). But since the All-Star break (32 games), Atlanta’s pitching staff has really turned it around, ranking 1st in the NL in team ERA (2.98), while posting a 22-10 record overall. A big part of the Braves pitching turnaround has been the performance of a few key additions as well as one big promotion from the bullpen from Kris Medlen.