Saturday, July 27, 2013

Mike Minor: Ace?

Lost in all of the talk about trading for a front-of-the-rotation type...lost in all of the talk about last year's infield fly rule call that was truly embarrassing...lost in all of the ridiculous talk about the new Waffle House at Turner Field...

Mike Minor out-pitched Adam Wainwright and shut down the most talked about offense in the game.  Let's be honest, how sick were you to keep hearing about the Cardinals' average with runners in scoring position? A lefty that most Braves fans were depressed to get when he was drafted in 2009 showed that he has the skills to face the best pitchers in this game. Against my better judgement, I, too, have parroted the line that the Braves don't have the arm to match up with this game's best in a Game One environment.  At least in last night's game, Minor more than proved he had the skills.

In 103 pitches, Minor toyed with the Cardinals lineup.  When the Cardinals got runners into scoring position, they couldn't do much to get them around.  Outside of a badly located ball that Yadier Molina took out to center field, Minor was almost without error.  He allowed four hits, struck out five, and gave up that one solo homerun.  It was the seventh start this season that Minor didn't walk a batter.

Overall, he lowered his team-leading ERA to 2.89 while pairing that with a 3.29 FIP, 8.4 K/9, and a ridiculously low 1.8 BB/9.  He entered the day 22nd in fWAR.  Not sure what yesterday's outing will do to that, but he will likely be in the Top 20.

There are a lot of different ideas as to what an "ace" actually is.  However, if the Braves do head into the last two months and hopefully a long playoff run with Minor at the head of their rotation, outings like Friday night will continue to provide confidence for the Braves faithful who desperately want another shot at the World Series.  If the Braves win the Series this year, the name of Mike Minor seems likely to be a household one.

Better get that extension offer for the Super 2 arbitration-eligible Minor, Frank Wren.

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