The Atlanta Braves beat the Colorado Rockies last night to keep pace with the Washington Nationals, who beat the red-hot San Francisco Giants, in the race for the NL East. Although they had lost 4 of their last 5 games, the Braves were able to take the first game of their series against the Rockies behind a splendid pitching performance from Gavin Floyd.
Gavin Floyd joined the Atlanta Braves in the 2013-14 offseason after pitching for the White Sox for seven seasons. Despite starting at least 29 games from 2008-2012, Floyd was only able to crack a 4.00 ERA once. When his durable faltered and he was forced to undergo Tommy John surgery in May of 2013, the White Sox opted not to resign the 31 year-old right-hander.
This decision has worked out quite well for Floyd so far. Floyd returned to the majors one day before his one year anniversary of Tommy John surgery, throwing 7 innings of one-run baseball against the reigning NL champion St. Louis Cardinals. Through seven starts in 2014, he has a 2.57 ERA and 35 strikeouts in 42.0 innings. Though he hasn’t allowed more than three earned runs in a single start this season, Floyd was finally able to pick up his first victory as a Brave last night.
Facing the best hitting team in the majors and the highest scoring team in the National League, Gavin Floyd threw 6.2 innings while allowing only one run, a solo homer by Corey Dickerson to lead off the 7th inning. Floyd allowed just three hits and walked three, needing just 95 pitches to get his 20 outs.
Floyd, who went 0-4 in five starts last year, earned his first win since October 3, 2012.
If not for injuries to Kris Medlen and Brandon Beachy, Gavin Floyd might not be starting for the Braves this season. However, with his resurgence (as well as the resurgence of Aaron Harang and the emergence of Julio Teheran), the Braves own the best team ERA in the National League.
Gavin Floyd has played no small part in the Braves success this season. He will have to continue to pitch like he did last night if the Braves hope to keep up with the scalding-hot Washington Nationals and make the postseason for the third consecutive year.