Beachy “flips the switch,” retires last 10 batters

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – After Roger McDowell went out for a word with Brandon Beachy in the third inning of Wednesday’s game against the New York Yankees, the Braves pitcher realized it was time to get serious and pitch like the regular season was about to begin.

Beachy allowed a run on three consecutive two-out singles in the first inning  and gave up two runs and three hits in the third. But after Jason Heyward’s homer-robbing catch in right field was followed by Eric Chavez’s two-out RBI single in the third, Beachy retired the last 10 batters he faced.

Just like that, he became all but unhittable for the last half of his six-inning stint in the Braves’ 5-5, 1o-inning tie with the Yankees.

He lowered his ERA by a run, from 6.43 to 5.40. Still not good, but progress.

“Those last three innings I think I really figured something out that I’ve been missing all spring and it really showed,” Beach said. “And I felt great. [It was] just a little edge. Just a little competitiveness and aggressiveness with my pitches.”

He threw 100 pitches (29 in the first inning) and gave up six hits and three runs (two earned) in six innings, with no walks and two strikeouts. He said things changed after a third-inning mound visit by McDowell.

“In the back of my mind I’ve been trying to work on stuff,” he said. “I wouldn’t have told you this yesterday because I don’t think I would have realized it, but I was kind of out there going through it like a bullpen almost. I kind of got that switch flipped and was going out there and competing after Roger came out there.”

The three first-inning hits weren’t hit hard, and they came after it appeared Beachy might have struck out Mark Teixiera on an 0-2 pitch when the ex-Brave checked his swing and the umpire ruled in his favor. Teixeira got the first of the three singles in the inning.

Eduardo Nunez led off the Yankee third with a double and scored on Robinson Cano’s single to left. One line-out later, Raul Ibanez hit a long fly that looked like trouble until Heyward raced back to the right-field wall, leapt with one foot against the padding and reached over the wall for the catch.

Beachy initially thought it was gone, then changed his mind as soon as he saw Heyward taking long strides toward the wall.

“It was one of those that you like to think you can catch off the bat, and then it kept going,” Heyward said. “The wind held it up enough to make that catch.”

Granted a reprieve of sorts, Beachy soon went to work on keeping Yankees off the bases and getting more serious about the business of preparing for a season that begins next week.

The pitched who piled up 169 strikeouts in 141-2/3 innings as a rookie had only two strikeouts Wednesday, but that’s not a bad thing for Beachy as he strikes to keep his pitch counts lower in his second season.

“I was throwing the fastball down in the zone, getting ahead,” he said of his final three innings. “I got ahead of guys all day long. I was doing a little of the picking thing and just wasn’t as aggressive with the off-speed in the zone, and I fixed that later on. They’re going to put balls in play, but that’s what I want them to do.”

Etc.

The Braves are 7-4-3 (three ties) after their 1-10-1 start… Freddie Freeman has hit five homers in his past eight official at-bats over three games. He homered in the seventh inning Wednesday after consecutive two-homer games…. Closer Craig Kimbrel and Freeman are only ones on the the Braves 2012 new media guides distributed Wednesday. Kimbrel was the NL Rookie of the Year in 2011 and Freeman was runner-up.

29 comments Add your comment

Earl

March 28th, 2012
7:32 pm

Glad to see Brandon is warming up to the season’s start. I really think he will be the ace before this year is over.

Ron Roberts

March 28th, 2012
7:41 pm

Second? Always wanted to do that.

Ron Roberts

March 28th, 2012
7:42 pm

Good to see the Braves putting up better W-L totals, but what makes it really special is that as the spring wears on, the regulars are the ones playing more.

Stinger2

March 28th, 2012
7:54 pm

The recent improvement in won lost record indicates that the team is now being close to ready to play and win games that count. Sure hope all those fans who were predicting doomsday will take notice and get back on the bandwagon.

reckingball

March 28th, 2012
7:57 pm

I like the Braves.

Orange Brave f/k/a Billy Jack's BBQ

March 28th, 2012
8:01 pm

getting excited. wish we were opening here next week rather than in NYC.

reckingball

March 28th, 2012
8:14 pm

Well the Braves didn’t win, and they were playing another crummy team, today. And, the other team actually played rookies in their lineup.
And that Heyward, he sure made a lucky catch in RF, and then another lucky grab in CF in the 10th.
I know that Heyward hit a HR, but it was only a 2 run HR, to tie the game, he should of hit a 3 run HR to win it. I don’t know why they don’t send him back to AAA.
Frank Wren doesn’t know anything about baseball, he should listen to what the people on these blogs say he should do.
It looks like the Braves will finish in last place in the NL.
I don’t know why they don’t just go ahead and forfiet the season.
Maybe they should just move out of Atlanta.

leastof the east

March 28th, 2012
8:32 pm

the best news of the day is on the BA website where they have the team bonus limits for the 2012 draft. the Braves can only spend slightly over $4 mill in the 1st 10 rounds based on their draft position (21st) and no extra picks..
they can have another ho hum draft of players with low ceilings who don’t cost much.
Liberty Media and Terry Mc Quirk must be celebrating.

Stanley

March 28th, 2012
8:34 pm

After reading reckngball, maybe the Braves shouldn’t move out of A-Town but they might as well go ahead and forfeit the entire season.

DE Braves Fan

March 28th, 2012
8:37 pm

Love reckingball’s comment. At first I took it seriously, then when I read “…he should of hit a 3 run HR…” i realized he was kidding. made me lol

I see what you did there

March 28th, 2012
8:56 pm

, Reckingball. I like it. The braves look good.

Eddie Matthews' Ghost

March 28th, 2012
9:16 pm

Sorry Braves. Started nearly everyone of their starters, including pitcher and had to scramble at the end to TIE a “B” or “C” team Yankee bunch. Pretty sorry.

bucky oneil

March 28th, 2012
9:20 pm

That’s the call of the reckingball……

loneoak

March 28th, 2012
9:23 pm

reckingball has an IQ of 68.

loneoak

March 28th, 2012
9:29 pm

Braves should move to Lone Oak.

loneoak

March 28th, 2012
9:44 pm

I like it . Lone Oak Braves. Stadium built for 79 loyal fans.

SR

March 28th, 2012
11:14 pm

Here’s more reasons to scratch your head in wonderment at the befuddlement and inaction of Fwank Wen over the offseason. I am an Atlanta native, grew up following the Braves of Aaron, Torre, Carty etc. Lived through the good times and the bad and thought when they won it all in 95 I could die as I had finally seen them win a championship. I have been out on the West Coast, San Francisco Bay Area and love it but still love the Braves. Oh sure I root for the Giants but not when they play the Braves or when a win by them affects the Bravos in the standings.

Now contrast these two teams and take a look at their respective offseasons. Sabean recognized a need and went out and filled it. He wanted the Giants to become more athletic, faster and score more runs. So he goes out and gets Angel Pagan from the Mets to leadoff (dude isn’t great but he did have 32 steals last year) and Melky Cabrera!!! The friggin Milkman for Chrissake!!

We all remember how the Milkman fell flat on his face when he was with us and somehow, he goes to the Royals and Dayton Moore and his bunch get him in shape and he damn near leads baseball in hitting last year and now he’s raking in spring training. That’s right, he had to leave the organization to improve, why the hell couldn’t the Braves push his arse to get in shape so he could have been a productive player for the team?? And guess who else is going to make the Giants roster, Gregor freakin Blanco. And guess what he had to say today?? The Braves often flashed a red light when he reached base because they did not want him to run into outs with their big hitters at the plate (course that begs the question of, what big hitters)??? Out here, he has the green light- jeesh, with the way the Braves struggle to score runs, wouldn’t you like to see someone swipe a bag and get in scoring position. Duh.

Lastly, at least Sabean did something to improve the team by defining what he needed/wanted and then filling the need. Contrast with Do-Nothing Wren who believes dead bats suddenly and magically come alive and also believes pitchers with history of injury will suddenly make it through an entire season. Wish, hope, pray and a bunch of IF’S. These are similar teams with similar payrolls, both built on pitching and it hurts me to even say this but I sure like what the Giants have done this offseason as compared to the Braves.

RS

March 28th, 2012
11:24 pm

Didnt Sabean sign Zito and Rowan to monster, er I mean disastrous deals? Who do you think will steal more bases in 2012 – the combo of Pagan, Blanco, and Cabrera OR Michael Bourne.

Yeah that Frank Wren is a real A-hole …

Philco

March 28th, 2012
11:30 pm

SR…..well said…and soooo True!!!

Philco

March 28th, 2012
11:32 pm

I wish I could agree with you RS, but I don’t see Bourne last past the trade deadline…..

reckingball

March 29th, 2012
12:10 am

SR, maybe your boy Melky, got the message when the Braves kicked his sorry butt to the curb, the day after the end of their 2010 season.

JNick

March 29th, 2012
2:27 am

Philco, the Braves value the draft too much – they’d have to get at least 2 dynamite prospects for Bourne at the deadline, otherwise, they’ll hang on to him and cash him in for 2 first rounders in 2013. Either way, I don’t see them trading off pieces at the deadline, they’ll be in contention.

GOP Cannon

March 29th, 2012
5:54 am

Good post SR! I was shocked when Frank Wren sat on his hands in the offseason and did nothing… all we got from management was “if this guy starts hitting” or “everything just went wrong in September, it can’t happen again, right?” Our management is busy making excuses, while other organizations are actively making their teams better.

Eddie Matthews' Ghost

March 29th, 2012
8:02 am

The Braves will always be “rebuilding” through their minor leagues. Funny. If you look back over the past couple of decades of those “great drafts” that the Braves had, just how many of those great drafts are on the roster now? Four, five? Maybe. The rest were traded in “big trades’ and were mostly busts else where. Salty is doing okay with the Sox and the pitcher for the Cardinals is doing well. I remember when Bruce Chen was going to be the next Warren Spahn. He has bounced around the ML for years now and hung on simply because he is a lefty. If the had been a righty, he’d been out of baseball long ago. Remember those two “GREAT” draft choice pitchers, a righty reliever and a LH starter they traded for Hudson. Two can’t misses. Where are they NOW? The Braves took 30 years to win a world series in Atlanta. I’ll be long gone to my Maker before the next 30 years can get here. I was there the first season in 1966. Even that team was better than this bunch of bums. It had Niekro, Aaron, Torre, Matthews, all Hall of Famers. This bunch will be lucky to get anyone except Chipper.

richbrave

March 29th, 2012
8:18 am

Could it be…..??? Has BEACHY actually learned how to pitch by putting hitters away when he gets them on the ropes? One can only hope. less wasted pitches, less stress on the offense and the pen. One can only hope.

afan

March 29th, 2012
8:19 am

reckingball sounds like 0-bama..change we can believe in. Better known as the spin doc.

Go Braves.

reckingball

March 29th, 2012
8:34 am

“We talk baseball, other sports, music, movies, BBQ and whatever(except politics and religion)”
I am not part of the blog police force, but please, no politics, that is one of DOB’s rules. Thanks.

larry(notLARRY)

March 29th, 2012
8:37 am

GOP your crystal ball is foggy

Billy

March 29th, 2012
8:41 am

Congrats to Stan Kasten on being back in Baseball with Dodgers. Wish he was still with Braves.

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