Wednesday night, Williams Perez treated Braves fans to one of the best starting pitching performances we’ve seen this season. Perez, just called up from Triple-A earlier in the day after Jhoulys Chacin was traded to the Angels, started his outing with four perfect innings. After Ryan Howard homered to lead off the fifth, Perez got right back into the groove he was in to start the game, allowing just one run on two hits over eight innings on just 85 pitches. Despite the fact the Braves have just one win in their last five contests, the starting staff (Teheran, Blair, Wisler, Folty & Perez) have combined to post a 2.45 ERA (9 ER/33 IP).
Coming out of Spring Training, the biggest question marks surrounded the starting staff. With Bud Norris being moved to the bullpen, it’s likely that both Foltynewicz and Perez could remain in the rotation for the foreseeable future. Tyrell Jenkins is also knocking on the door, and could join the Big League club at some point in the second half of the season. Also, for those who like to peruse Minor League boxscores, keep an eye on Chris Ellis, currently with the Double-A ballclub in Mississippi. Tuesday night, Ellis improved to 5-0 on the season (in seven starts), while his ERA dipped to 1.71 as he scattered just three hits over seven scoreless.
Tonight, the Braves will look to do something they’ve done just once this season, and that’s win a series as they wrap up a three game set with the Phillies. Up next, another three city road trip with stops in Kansas City, Pittsburgh and Philadelphia. After a brutal five weeks, the schedule tends to ease up going forward, so expect the Braves to give Fredi Gonzalez a chance to work with not only a healthy roster (Inciarte & Beckham) but a friendlier schedule before any decisions are made on his status going forward.
Kevin McAlpin covers the Braves for the @BravesRadioNet. Follow Kevin on Twitter @KevinMcAlpin