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Baseball Daily Dose

Feel the Burnes

by Ryan Boyer
Updated On: September 10, 2020, 10:53 am ET

The Brewers scored 19 runs on 21 hits in Wednesday’s blowout win over the Tigers, but their starting pitcher was still the story of the day.

Corbin Burnes was electric again in Detroit, yielding just one hit over seven shutout innings in Milwaukee’s 19-0 victory. He didn’t issue any walks for the first time this season and also notched a season-high 11 strikeouts.

Per Sports Info Solutions, Burnes and Shane Bieber are the only two pitchers this season to have a start with at least five swinging strikeouts, at least five strikeouts looking and no walks.

Over his last three starts, Burnes has permitted just one unearned run, boasting a ridiculous 28/3 K/BB ratio over 19 innings during that stretch. He’s allowed only seven hits.

In six starts and three relief appearances this season, Burnes is now sitting on a 1.99 ERA, 0.90 WHIP and 64/19 K/BB ratio across 45 1/3 innings. If you isolate his six starts, it’s a 1.38 ERA, 0.83 WHIP and 46/11 K/BB ratio over 32 2/3 frames.

The 25-year-old showed flashes of dominance last season, of course, striking out a whopping 70 batters over 49 innings of work. However, Burnes also yielded 70 hits and a staggering 17 home runs over those 49 frames. He was sent down to the minors on a couple occasions.

So what has changed? Burnes has revamped his repertoire, with the most important change being essentially replacing his four-seamer with a sinker. The thinking is that Burnes’ four-seamer – which has some cut to it – too often was similar to his slider last season. Now he has a fastball that moves in the other direction, and he’s actually throwing it harder than he did the four-seamer. Burnes is also throwing way more cutters and a lot fewer sliders this season, along with mixing in more curveballs and changeups.

It is hard to believe that Burnes going from a 38.6 percent HR/FB rate to a 2.9 percent HR/FB rate is sustainable, so it wouldn’t be a surprise if there’s some correction there. Still, this looks like a legitimate breakout for the Brew Crew right-hander.

Bashing Braves

The NFL schedule doesn’t start until Thursday, but the Braves did their best Falcons impression Wednesday.

The 11 runs the Braves scored in the second inning technically would have been enough to pull out a victory over the Marlins, but they weren’t done there. Oh, no sir.

Atlanta followed up their 11-run outburst with 18 more runs over the next five frames, culminating in a 29-9 laugher. The 29 runs set a new National League record and was just one run shy of tying the 2007 Rangers’ major league record of 30 runs scored in a game.

As you might have guessed, there were quite a few offensive stars for the Braves in this one.

Ozzie Albies had three hits – including a home run – in his first game back from the injured list. Ronald Acuna went deep, reached base six times on the night, drove in five runs and scored four more. Freddie Freeman homered and plated six runs. Travis d’Arnaud also homered.

The biggest standout, though, was Adam Duvall. For the second time in a week, Duvall had a three-homer game. He hit a two-run homer off of Jordan Yamamoto in the second inning and a three-run shot off of Yamamoto in the fifth before finishing off his night with a grand slam off of Josh A. Smith in the seventh. That’s nine RBI, and he was also one of three Braves players to score five runs (Dansby Swanson and Austin Riley were the others). Duvall is just the fifth player ever and second player since 1951 to hit three homers, drive in nine runs and score five runs in a game.

Duvall’s OPS was sitting at just .696 heading into his first three-homer game last Wednesday. It’s now all the way up to .950 after he slugged eight home runs in an eight-game stretch. His 13 long balls on the season are good enough to put him in a tie for sixth in baseball.

The Braves had lost four of five going into action Wednesday, but they’re now sitting at 25-18 after the blowout win and have a two-game lead over the Phillies in the NL East.

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Deivi Dealing

You know the saying: when your team is in a rut, you hand the ball to your 21-year-old stopper making his third career start.

Okay, that’s not a saying, but Deivi Garcia turned out to be just what the doctor ordered for the Yankees on Wednesday.

Garcia spun seven superb innings in the Yankees’ 7-2 win over the Blue Jays, holding Toronto to just two runs on five hits and no walks. He fanned six batters, inducing 14 whiffs on 52 swings.

The victory put a halt to the Yanks’ five-game losing streak and pushed them back over the .500 mark at 22-21. They entered Wednesday’s game having gone 2-8 over their last 10 contests and 5-15 in their previous 20 games.

The Yankees probably didn’t expect to need Garcia to play a pivotal role for them this season, but with James Paxton (elbow) looking like a long shot to be a significant contributor down the stretch, it’s looking like Garcia will stick in the rotation.

Garcia wasn’t great in his second major league start last Friday against the Orioles, but he’s been excellent in the other two outings. Overall, the young right-hander has posted a 3.06 ERA, 0.91 WHIP and nifty 18/2 K/BB ratio over 17 2/3 innings. Garcia looks to be lined up to face the Blue Jays again next week.

 

American League Quick Hits: Gleyber Torres homered, doubled and drove in four runs to lead the Yankees to a win over the Blue Jays on Wednesday … Dane Dunning notched his first major league victory by shutting out the Pirates for six innings Wednesday … Justin Verlander (forearm) was slated to throw a 50-55 pitch bullpen session on Wednesday … Danny Santana underwent major surgery Wednesday on his right elbow and will be sidelined 7-8 months … James McCann hit his fourth and fifth homers of the year Wednesday as the White Sox topped the Pirates … Ryan Mountcastle went 4-for-4 on Wednesday to raise his average to .383 since he was called up … Dallas Keuchel (back) will not make his scheduled start this weekend versus the Tigers but is slated to pitch early next week … Isiah Kiner-Falefa went 4-for-4 with a double and a stolen base Wednesday in the Rangers' win over the Angels … Carlos Carrasco took a loss Wednesday despite holding the Royals to one run over seven innings with seven strikeouts … Luis Garcia allowed just one hit with four strikeouts over five scoreless innings Wednesday in Oakland in his first major league start … DJ Stewart went 3-for-3 with a homer, a walk, a HBP and two runs scored Wednesday in the loss to the Mets … Rowdy Tellez is done for the second after being diagnosed with a right knee strain …  Blue Jays manager Charlie Montoyo said Wednesday that Nate Pearson (elbow) would likely return as a reliever if he makes it back this season.

National League Quick Hits: Trevor Bauer struck out 10 over 7 2/3 innings of no-run baseball while allowing just two hits in the Reds' win over the Cubs on Wednesday … The Diamondbacks placed Ketel Marte on the 10-day injured list with left wrist inflammation … Jeff McNeil went 2-for-3 and homered in a fourth straight game Wednesday versus the Orioles … AJ Cassavell of MLB.com has reported that it's "realistic" to think Tommy Pham (hand) could be activated from the injured list next week … Tyler Anderson tossed six shutout innings Wednesday versus the Mariners … Jazz Chisholm collected his first major league homer and triple Wednesday against the Marlins … Pete Alonso went 3-for-4 with a go-ahead homer in the eighth inning Wednesday as the Mets edged the Orioles … Justin Turner (hamstring) could return this weekend in the designated hitter spot … The Nationals put Howie Kendrick (hamstring) on the IL Wednesday … Luis Urias had three hits and plated five runs Wednesday against the Tigers … The Rockies activated David Dahl from the injured list Wednesday … Jedd Gyorko launched a pair of solo home runs Wednesday in the Brewers' blowout victory over the Tigers … The Giants signed Justin Smoak to a minor league contract.

Ryan Boyer

Ryan Boyer is a baseball writer for NBC Sports Edge. He can also be found on Twitter.