01 Aug

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One call rarely decides a game, though it can certainly alter the course. Everyone watching Saturday’s Milwaukee-Atlanta game at Truist Park saw Brandon Woodruff throw strike three past Dansby Swanson for the second out of the Braves sixth inning. Everyone except home plate umpire C.B. Bucknor, who called it a ball. (Doesn’t it seem that bad ball-strike calls have become epidemic in the majors?) Swanson hit the next pitch out of the park to give the Braves a 3-1 lead. Mississippi State product Woodruff glared and barked at Bucknor as he left the game. Swanson, the former Mississippi Braves star, later hit a grand slam as the Braves claimed an 8-1 victory. Swanson said after the game that, yes, he thought the sixth-inning pitch was a strike. Milwaukee manager Craig Counsell said, yes, it was a strike — but Swanson rated credit for banging the hanger that followed. Woodruff, who has endured a lot of tough luck this season, said in an mlb.com piece: “It [stinks] because we’re playing good baseball and something like that kind of bugs me a bit. I’ll get over it.” Woodruff, a 2021 All-Star, saw his record fall to 7-6 despite a 2.26 ERA, among the best in the big leagues. He was 0-3 in July for the first-place Brewers, who just don’t score when the big right-hander pitches. P.S. Delvin Zinn, the former Itawamba Community College star from Pontotoc, got a chance to try out his wheels on a new track on Saturday. He had a flat. Leading the High-A Central in stolen bases with 42, Zinn was promoted to Double-A Tennessee by the Chicago Cubs. He walked in his first at-bat, then promptly got picked off and cut down trying to steal second. Zinn went 0-for-1 with two walks and a sac bunt for the Smokies. He was batting .234 with four homers and 42 runs for South Bend in his fifth pro season.

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