Heyward, Simmons help Braves end Yankees’ streak

NEW YORK – On a night when Atlanta’s retiring third baseman had a tough error that cost a run and its veteran pitcher labored through five innings, it was youth that served a 4-3 win for the Braves against the sizzling New York Yankees.

Rookie shortstop Andrelton Simmons drove in two runs and fellow 22-year-old Jason Heyward threw out a runner at the plate and had the game-winning RBI for the Braves, who snapped a three-game losing skid and ended the Yankees’ 10-game winning streak, the longest in the majors this season.

“The youngsters getting it done today,” Simmons said with a laugh, thoroughly enjoying the aftermath of his 16th game in the major leagues.

Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said, “It’s nice to see those guys playing on a big stage like this against a big team that’s hot as a firecracker…. [Heyward] can change the game so many difference ways, offensively, defensively and on the basepath. And he did today.”

Tim Hudson (5-3) won for just the second time in 12 career starts and six decisions against the Yankees, who led 2-0 after two innings and lost for only the second time in 18 games. The Braves snapped a six-game losing streak against the Yankees that included a three-game sweep last week at Turner Field.

Four Braves relievers pitched a scoreless inning apiece: Chad Durbin followed by Jonny Venters, Eric O’Flaherty and Craig Kimbrel, the 24-year-old closer who collected his National League-leading 20th save in 21 opportunities with a  perfect ninth inning including two strikeouts.

“I thought our bullpen today bent a little bit but didn’t break,” Gonzalez said, “and it’s showing some signs of being the bullpen of last year. It’s tough to hold a one-run lead in this ballpark against that lineup, and we did it.”

Hudson threw 109 pitches (65 strikes) and allowed four hits, three runs (two earned) and five walks with five strikeouts. It was anything but an efficient five innings, but he made some big pitches when needed most, including a bases-loaded strikeout of slugger Curtis Granderson to end the fourth inning.

He also got crucial defensive assistance from Heyward in the fifth.

With the score tied at 3-all, Hudson issued consecutive two-out walks to Mark Teixiera and Raul Ibanez in the fifth, drawing manager Fredi Gonzalez from the dugout for a brief discussion with the pitcher. He left Hudson in to face Nick Swisher, who singled to right field, where Heyward was ready.

Teixiera tried to score from second base on the play, but Heyward fielded the ball while charging in and came up firing, throwing a perfect strike to catcher Brian McCann, who applied to tag to end the inning.

“He shows flashes of greatness,” Hudson said of Heyward. “Every now and again he shows you what he can do. Defensively he’s been awesome. He covers a lot of ground out there and he’s got a great arm, and he’s been coming up with some big hits for us lately. It’s nice to see.”

Third baseman Chipper Jones: “That’s the best throw I’ve seen him make. Especially under pressure. And he swung the bat good, too. He got us kind of kick-started there early, then put the icing on the cake late.”

An inning later, Heyward put the Braves ahead with his two-out single that caromed hard off the foot of first baseman Teixiera. The hit scored Brian McCann, who led off the inning by bouncing a double over the center-field fence and advanced to third on a groundout.

After Jones drew a two-out walk to put runners on the corners, Heyward’s hit put the Braves ahead to stay.

“About the last five days to a week, he’s probably swung the bat as well as anybody in the lineup,” Jones said. “He’s been a tough out against lefties hanging in there. He’s starting to hit the ball the other way into the gaps. You know, we all know what kind of talent he has. He’s a five-tool player if healthy. That’s been the main thing thus far.”

Heyward had a big night, including two hits and a walk. He led off the third inning by hustling for a triple to the right-center gap, then scored on Simmons’ groundout to cut the Yankees’ lead to 2-1.

But it was his throw that had everyone talking afterward.

“Right there it was do or die,” Heyward said. “It was still a close game. That’s what you want to do. You want to put yourself in position to be able to make that throw on ball hit in front of you.”

When the first question in Gonzalez’s postgame press briefing was about Kimbrel’s ninth inning, Gonzalez looked surprised and paused before answering: “Well we wouldn’t have gotten there if it wasn’t for Jason Heyward, you know?”

The Braves scored two runs in the fourth inning to take the lead, and could have had more. Martin Prado had a leadoff single and Freddie Freeman drew a two-out walk before  Jones hit a two-out RBI double past Teixeira and down the right-field line.

Heyward walked and Simmons hit an RBI single to center that looked like it would bring home two runs. But after Freeman scored on the play, Heyward was thrown out at third before Jones crossed home plate, erasing that potential run. The Braves had to settle for a 3-2 lead, and it wouldn’t last long.

The Yankees tied the score with an unearned run in the bottom of the inning after errors by corner infielders Freeman and Jones. Ibanez reached on the one-out fielding error by Freeman, in his first game back in the lineup after missing five games with a finger injury.

One walk and one strikeout later, Russell Martin hit a hard grounder that shot past third baseman Jones and into the left-field corner, bringing in the tying run.

“My bullpen did pick me up,” Hudson said. “The defense has been great behind me all year. There were a couple of plays – rocket to Chipper; I’m wondering if that’s really an error or not. Freddie’s a Gold Glove-caliber first baseman, so that’s kind of a flukey thing that he didn’t make that play.  But it is what it is. You’ve just got to make pitches, and luckily it didn’t cost us the game.”

Derek Jeter, who seemed to have every close ball-strike call go his way all night, drew a two-out walk to load the bases before Hudson struck out Granderson, who leads the Yankees with 21 homers.

Venters gave up a hit and walk to start the seventh inning, and Robinson’s Cano’s groundout put two in scoring position. But Teixeira hit a fielder’s choice grounder to Jones, who made a nice play and threw home for the out. Venters struck out Ibanez to end the inning.

82 comments Add your comment

Brandon

June 19th, 2012
10:14 pm

Kimbrel starts with a K!

B_F 54

June 19th, 2012
10:17 pm

Kentavo

June 19th, 2012
10:17 pm

About damn time.

B_F 54

June 19th, 2012
10:18 pm

And young Mr K

Brave New World

June 19th, 2012
10:21 pm

T-H-E J-H-E-Y K-I-D!!!

ACE

June 19th, 2012
10:25 pm

Good win tonight. Don’t make tomorrow a GIVE AWAY day and back it up with another win.

DaveinNEPA

June 19th, 2012
10:34 pm

OK, we won tonight. But, I’m not fooled, our offense is still putrid. Our top 5 hitters in the batting order were a combined 2-19 with a walk and our cleanup hitter wore the golden sombrero tonight. This only portends more futility to come.

Larry

June 19th, 2012
10:36 pm

Don’t be fooled, y’all. The only reason the Braves won tonight because they scored more runs than the Yankees. Fredi is still a problem. It may not look like it when they win, but any manager looks good when the team wins. The more the Braves win, the better Fredi will look. That doesn’t mean anything. They could win the World Series and Fredi would still be inadequate. He’d only look good because he won the World Series. Don’t be fooled. Larry knows more than Fredi and I say the only reason the Braves beat the Yankees is because they scored more runs than the Yankees. That doesn’t mean they’re better than the Yankees. Fredi only wants you to think that so he can keep his job.

Brandon

June 19th, 2012
10:39 pm

@Larry “the only reason the Braves won tonight because they scored more runs than the Yankees.”

i can’t tell if you’re being sarcastic or serious haha

Quack Quack

June 19th, 2012
10:41 pm

Good job Bravos! J Hey shines….Simmons…This is just the beginning… Nice way to end our losing streak, and NY winning streak.

GO BRAVES!!!

Runner-

June 19th, 2012
10:41 pm

Jason more than made up for his baserunning blunder in the 4th.

What’s up with Dan? Hopefully he won’t enter into an extended slump, awful night. We might just have to move Simmons to 3rd in the lineup and have B-Mac hit cleanup!!

MyThoughts

June 19th, 2012
10:42 pm

Larry – The only reason the Braves won tonight because they scored more runs than the Yankees ?? dddddddddddddduuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh Is there any other way to win the game ??????

Brave New World

June 19th, 2012
10:43 pm

Scoring more than the other team works in many sports.

Quack Quack

June 19th, 2012
10:43 pm

Hey Larry Give me some of whatever you’re on???

Brandon

June 19th, 2012
10:44 pm

@Runner- I agree! and Heyward has done so much on the base paths in his career that has helped atlanta. One thing i noticed though is that the ball was behind heyward and snitker was telling him to slide… a lot of the blame has to go to snitker as well.

Anyways, heyward is getting hot!

MyThoughts

June 19th, 2012
10:49 pm

Quack Quack I don’t want anything Larry is on as I am too smart to take anything to make me that STUPID

Quack Quack

June 19th, 2012
10:56 pm

Right on…All in jest..:-)

Tony C.

June 19th, 2012
11:02 pm

“…Our top 5 hitters in the batting order were a combined 2-19 with a walk…”

No pinche bueno

NickB

June 19th, 2012
11:03 pm

I think it’s time to move Heyward higher up in the order against righties

Atlrf44

June 19th, 2012
11:05 pm

DH Chipper DH…they are giving you a free ride…take it!!!!

JC Boscan III

June 19th, 2012
11:12 pm

No blame to Snitker — it’s baseball — NEVER make the 3rd out at 3rd base! So, it’s totally Heyward’s blunder. Fortunately, it didn’t cost them the game!

An amazing fact — in franchise history, the Braves have never lost a game in which they scored more runs than the opposing team!! GO BRAVES!

PaulG

June 19th, 2012
11:15 pm

It’s early yet,the law of small numbers ,sampling error, can lead to wrong predictions about his hitting ability, but so far we have struck gold, he could be an exceptional player. Let’s hope wrenn doesn’t do an andrus on us.

Largo

June 19th, 2012
11:19 pm

Good game. I enjoyed it. Venters still looks like crap but Kembrel was lights out!

bostonbravo

June 19th, 2012
11:19 pm

J HEY my foot. he’s a poser.

DoninAcworth

June 19th, 2012
11:22 pm

Whew….we won, we won, we won! Finally. Now let’s see if we can do it again. Oh yes, when we leave New York Chipper needs to sit down and rest so he can make those plays at third again. AND Prado should be # 1 there we we play next. He was awsome at first and he plays the ball better than anyone!

Buzz 2011

June 19th, 2012
11:27 pm

Wheeee one win in what seven or eight games!!! Yankees take series tomorrow, bet on it!

Tom

June 19th, 2012
11:39 pm

waits for the fredi haters to start saying what he did wrong, how they won in spite of him.

Don

June 19th, 2012
11:40 pm

@JC – The base runner does not have eyes in the back of his head. He goes to 3rd when the base coach motions him there and had no way of knowing the play was close. On the base coach all the way!

Let's Be Real

June 20th, 2012
1:11 am

It was the will of Allah

Von Trapp

June 20th, 2012
1:11 am

Congratulations to Bones and company. Celebrate. You guys beat the NY Yankees. You can throw a party its ok justs dont get Bones hurt :)

Mitchell

June 20th, 2012
1:22 am

The Braves won a game?

The Braves won a game.

The Braves won a game!

boykin

June 20th, 2012
1:56 am

And I thought Dawg fans were the HATERS! GO BRAVES/DAWGS!

cowdogit

June 20th, 2012
2:18 am

To bad my predictions have been one hundred percent correct this year . My new prediction – If McDowell continues to be the pitching coach – Craig Kimbrel will need arm surgery before the season is over .

cowdogit

June 20th, 2012
2:28 am

Bobby Cox is not doing Chipper a favor by allowing him to look like an ageing over the hill bum .Go home Chipper- save your marriage .

quicherbichin

June 20th, 2012
5:52 am

Of all the genius things Larry has said on this blog, ” The Braves only won tonight because they scored more than the Yankees” has to be the most insightful thing he has ever said on this blog. Next week, he’ll take on math and tell us that 1+1 =2 !!!!

cmc

June 20th, 2012
6:09 am

Don,

On Heyward’s base running play: when he reached second, he didn’t need eyes in the back of his head to locate the ball. If the ball had been hit to right or right-center, he would have relied on Snitker for help. Can’t blame Snitker on that one.

cmc

June 20th, 2012
6:11 am

Cowdogit,

I have a prediction for you: you will continue to post without using Spell Check for the remainder of the season.

BraveFan

June 20th, 2012
6:35 am

Ditto cmc

Runner makes the decision as he nears 2nd base with ball in front of him (after all he knows his speed, has a sense of the outfielders throwing level, knows the situation,etc) Not really a bad play to go to 3rd because you draw the throw. However, if you draw the throw you have to take the out in a rundown so runner scores. I am sure Heyward thought throw coming to plate. By the way I coached my Little League teams to make this decision once they could, often at 9 or 10 yrs old.

BraveFan

June 20th, 2012
6:38 am

Also I do not believe Larry is that stupid. Probably a friend of Fredi’s. Wants a bunch of bloggers to take up for him.

dtb

June 20th, 2012
6:39 am

get Chipper out of the game……..

Braves Fan in Maine

June 20th, 2012
6:50 am

Nice win by the braves…. but what is up with uggla… 4 ks man he better get it going soon

Bulldawgman49

June 20th, 2012
7:03 am

This might give the Braves Shot in the arm as they say. Heyward if this is a sign of good things to come I hope it started last night , And the new SS is playing good hitting and that all you can ask for. Huddy is the streak breaker . Go Braves !!!

ButterMilk Tuesdays

June 20th, 2012
7:13 am

Again, fire Fredi! (Yes, this needs to be said continuously, until the man is run out of town.)

esasc4

June 20th, 2012
7:30 am

Man what a huge lift for the braves IF heyward could keep hitting with authority! he is still only 22 years old, by evidence of his base running blunder, he still has a way to go, but i love the aggression on the base paths.

Mikey

June 20th, 2012
7:52 am

I guess you Chipper haters missed the excellent backhand snag and accurate throw to the plate to save the lead, and the 2 RBI double past Gold Glove M Texeira with 2 strikes.

Coach Joe

June 20th, 2012
7:55 am

you usually do win if you score more runs thna the other team..

BRAVES SUCK

June 20th, 2012
7:55 am

FIRE FREDI, He is not even good enough, to mange, 1 A baseball. If at best, T-Ball.

Homer the Brave

June 20th, 2012
8:12 am

I guess Chipper haters saw the slow ground ball that went under his glove for an error and nearly cost us the game.

Chipper is finished.

Kem

June 20th, 2012
8:39 am

Jason was the main reason the Braves won and some of you can only talk about the base running scenario. Too funny

MD Braves fan

June 20th, 2012
8:49 am

Fredi still started Hinske at DH. Fredism every game. Fire frediot now!

Ranger Randy

June 20th, 2012
8:54 am

Things just aren’t peachy…..without Beachy.

markie mark

June 20th, 2012
8:57 am

“Don’t be fooled, y’all. The only reason the Braves won tonight because they scored more runs than the Yankees.”

wow….thats some incredible insight into the game of baseball right there, Braves fans…..

Eric

June 20th, 2012
8:59 am

And replace Fredi with who? You people just kill me. First you want to run Bobby Cox out of town, now Fredi. Well, tough. He’s here to stay. Why dont you quit wasting my (and your) time with that drivel? Just shut up already.

bobby

June 20th, 2012
9:01 am

It’s automatic that when the Braves have a runner on third and one out that Uggla will strikeout.

hunter55

June 20th, 2012
9:21 am

Cowdogit

Bobby Cox isn’t the MANAGER, he retired 2 years ago!!!!!!!!!!LMAO

Whiskey River

June 20th, 2012
9:21 am

@Eric It’s not FG yet. Get rid the BOSS.

bvillebaron

June 20th, 2012
9:28 am

Kem:

Actually I think the negative comments about Heyward on a night when he was the main reason for the win are not funny, but sad. Sometimes I wonder how miserable these negative nellies’ lives must be.

Just Wow

June 20th, 2012
9:32 am

Today’s comments are brought to you by the letter four. Seriously, some of you should have skipped the game and gotten some more rest, apparently.

dean

June 20th, 2012
9:35 am

That must have been some good reefer cowdogit was burnin at 2 o’clock this morning.

Braves Fan

June 20th, 2012
9:46 am

Heyward has played “well” overall this year…But he needs to be elite for the Braves to advance. He needs to become a #3 hitter in this line up that can get 30HR and 110RBI. A big time guy. Chipper’s old, Freeman is in a soph slump, McCann is off this year, Uggs has played OK, but is still hitting under 250 I believe.

Bourne and Prado have been the only real consistent guys….We need some of RBI guys to pick up the pace. I really like what I see out of Simmons thus far.

BBQ MAN

June 20th, 2012
9:48 am

“The only reason the Braves won tonight because they scored more runs than the Yankees. ” ?good grief Larry. are you that dumb? Isn’t that how ANY team wins

Don

June 20th, 2012
9:49 am

Wonder if there is something else in play regarding the Heyward haters that always look to the negative??

harry taylor

June 20th, 2012
9:51 am

Eric:

Fredi is only an extension of Bobby Cox. 2 peas in a pod. We need new blood. Continuation of the good ole boys is disaster.

Whiskey River

June 20th, 2012
9:54 am

@harry taylor Get rid of the BOSS first,

harry taylor

June 20th, 2012
10:01 am

Whiskey River:

Get rid of both of them at the same time. Among a few others.

Don Corleone

June 20th, 2012
10:04 am

Uggla is useless at the plate yet Frodo keeps batting him 4th. All Uggla wants to do is swing at the ball as hard as possible and hit the big homer, even after 2 strikes. Against quality pitchers he is helpless.
Please, can we get Omar back?

Whiskey River

June 20th, 2012
10:06 am

AGREE go for it.

Fredi G.

June 20th, 2012
10:08 am

I am so confused.

BrandonLee49

June 20th, 2012
10:51 am

Yes let’s all go bazonkers !!! the Braves have now Won 1 out of Six against the Yankees in the past week…. small baby steps, we can do it, maybe Win two out of Seven, or really get hot and Win 3 out of Eight… Wow, That ALmost .500, against a Yankes Team Playing .625 Ball.. Now That would be something ! Move Heyward Up in the Lineup?? Sure put him as Leadoff, who needs a Leadoff hitter who Whiffs90% of the time… Move Heyward over to Center, Forget Bourn.

HOF 10

June 20th, 2012
10:54 am

Given the choice, would you want Chipper or Jeter if both were just starting their careers?

Ozzie

June 20th, 2012
10:54 am

I know the media and fans are obsessed with sound bites but it is one win in a sea of losses. The players and coaches are shrinking the windows on their comments to find any glimpse of a positive trend.

I soon expect to see “player x has hit the ball as well as anyone on the team from innings 2.3 to 4.3 during the game”

Simmons continues to look great and is progressing. Prado is more or a less a rock unless he gets hurt. Then Bourne & Kimbrel (apart from normal dips). I would add Durbin in there as well.

Everyone else is a coin toss at the plate, on the mound or on the field. That has to change or the Braves will be sellers in 30 days.

Consistency is a word ATL must find or 2012 will be 2011 but with new Unis.

Caveat: You do realize after you flame me to pieces this post will trigger a 7 game winning streak. Thank me now or thank me later. :)

I have the Flu so life is pissing in my cereal this week.

Ozzie

June 20th, 2012
10:55 am

Jeter he is more clutch especially in the post season.

Gene

June 20th, 2012
11:02 am

One win does not turn the season around. But, Heyward certainly has the talent. I’ll be watching today with my finder on the off button.

Skip in Heaven

June 20th, 2012
11:06 am

Cowabunga, Braves win.

I thought I was gonna have to get the Big man to conjure up a snow storm in the middle of a game to get these losers a ‘W’…

arizona brave

June 20th, 2012
11:54 am

As good as Simmons is hitting,maybe drop Uggla down to eighth and move Simmons up in the batting order.

Paulo977

June 20th, 2012
12:03 pm

GO Braves !!!

BRAVELESS

June 20th, 2012
12:42 pm

Jason getting thrown out at third base was not his fault. No one wants to address the possiblity that Chipper was not running hard the whole way home or that the third base coach could have put up the stop sign when he got to second base.

chc4

June 20th, 2012
12:46 pm

It absolutely was Heyward’s fault. Anyone with a half a brain knows he needs to pull up short of the bag and force a tag. Boneheaded play.

[...] Heyward, Simmons help Braves end Yankees’ streak | Atlanta BravesRookie shortstop Andrelton Simmons drove in two runs and fellow 22-year-old Jason Heyward threw out a runner at the plate and had the game-winning RBI for the Braves, who snapped a three-game losing skid and ended the Yankees’ 10-game winning streak, the longest in the majors this season. “The youngsters getting it done today,” Simmons said with a laugh, thoroughly enjoying the aftermath of his 16th game in the major leagues. [...]

a fan

June 20th, 2012
1:21 pm

Larry,Whiskey,Phil, you are going to eat your words bank on it.

cowdogit

June 20th, 2012
1:30 pm

Bobby Cox is not retired , Who the hell you think protects Chipper , Fredi and McDowell- – With out his protection they would be history . After returning from an eight hour drinking binge, I will not pacify the few idiots that think I should use a spell checker .

icons set

October 7th, 2012
3:30 pm

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