29 Apr

good things abound

So many good things happened for Atlanta in its 10-0 rout of the Chicago Cubs on Wednesday. The Braves’ third straight win got them back to .500, tied for first in the National League East at 12-12. Huascar Ynoa, a Mississippi Braves alum, pitched brilliantly and hit his first career home run, one of five Atlanta belted. Former M-Braves star Freddie Freeman also went yard in a four-hit game and, after the Cubs raised the white flag, struck out laughing in an off-the-rails at-bat against Chicago first baseman Anthony Rizzo. Not to be overlooked is the performance of Austin Riley, the DeSoto Central High (and M-Braves) product who went 4-for-5 with a two-run homer, a double and two runs. Atlanta’s third baseman, who had been getting a lot of grief for a slow start, is heating up. He is on a 9-for-20 roll. Over his last 15 games, he is batting .341 (.421 OBP) with three homers, six RBIs, 10 runs and eight walks. He has boosted his average to .286 and his on-base percentage to .400. His homer Wednesday was a line drive to left field, his double a rope to right, his two singles shots to center. Talk about using all fields. It’s a good sign for a good guy who comports himself in such an admirable way. P.S. On a somber note, it was on this date in 2007 that Cleveland native Josh Hancock, a St. Louis Cardinals relief pitcher, died in an early morning automobile accident on Highway 40 in St. Louis. He was 29. MLB postponed a nationally televised game scheduled for that night against the Cubs out of respect. Hancock was a key member of the Cardinals’ 2006 World Series-winning club, pitching in 62 games that season, though he didn’t appear in the Fall Classic. An Auburn alum who also went to high school in Alabama, he is buried near Tupelo.

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