2013 Atlanta Braves
2013 Atlanta Braves / Franchise: Atlanta Braves / BR Team Page
Managed by Fredi Gonzalez
History, Comments, Contributions
The 2013 Atlanta Braves got off to an excellent start to their season, reeling off 10 straight wins from April 5-16th, to bring their record to a major league best 12-1 at that point, having built an early 4 1/2 games lead over their opponents in the NL East. It was their first 10-game winning streak in exactly 10 games. The streak ended on April 17th in spite of an excellent performance by starting pitcher Mike Minor who gave up only one run in six innings, but lost, 1-0, to the Kansas City Royals and Wade Davis.
The Braves had built their success over the previous two seasons on an outstanding bullpen trio of Craig Kimbrel, Jonny Venters and Eric O'Flaherty. The three may have been overused however, and it came back to bite them in 2013. Venters, who had pitched 85 times in 2011 and 66 in 2012, missed the entire season and finally underwent Tommy John surgery on May 18th, while O'Flaherty, who had pitched 142 times over the same period, gave out after 19 appearances and also had to go under the knife of surgeon James Andrews. In a span of two days in early July, the Braves lost their entire starting outfield of Jason Heyward, B.J. Upton and Justin Upton to injuries. On July 11th, Heyward strained his right hamstring, then the next day B.J. strained a muscle diving for a ball in the 1st inning and Justin pulled up lame running out a ground ball in the 7th. The Braves had to end that night's game with a makeshift outfield of rookie Joey Terdoslavich in left, infielder Tyler Pastornicky in center and back-up Reed Johnson in right; Terdoslavich and Pastornicky were both making their first career appearance as outfielders.
Ironically, it was right after the injury binge that the Braves, who had been playing well all season, switched into another gear, becoming almost unbeatable. They racked up another 10 straight wins in late July and early August to build an insurmountable lead in the NL East. With the 10th of these wins in a nationally-televised Sunday night game on August 4th, 4-1 over the Philadelphia Phillies behind the pitching of rookie Alex Wood, they increased their lead in the division to 12 1/2 games. They then kept on winning, extending the streak to 14 games on August 9th. The streak ended the next day, as the Braves fell to the Miami Marlins, but it was in spite of another great pitching performance by Wood, who pitched 6 scoreless innings before the Marlins scored the game's only run in the 9th on Adeiny Hechavarria's triple followed by a wild pitch by reliever Jordan Walden. The streak was one shy of the team's longest since 1900.
Awards and Honors
- All-Stars: Freddie Freeman, Craig Kimbrel and Brian McCann
- NL Gold Glove: Andrelton Simmons (SS)
- Topps All-Star Rookie Team: Evan Gattis (C)