breaking news

Delta flights returning to normal after nationwide ground stop due to IT problem

Newcomb retires all 14 Phillies faced in fourth outing

Sean Newcomb was perfect Monday night, or as perfect as a young pitcher can get in his fourth spring-training start with a pitch count and a watchful manager.

Newcomb retired all 14 batters faced in a Grapefruit League game against the Phillies at Champion Stadium, leaving with two out in the fifth inning after throwing 38 strikes in 54 pitches and recording six strikeouts.

“Fastball command was good, so I was able to work off that,” Newcomb said. “Curveball was hit or miss, but I kind of found my groove with that later on.”

The Phillies won 3-0 on Mitch Walding’s three-run homer off reliever Arodys Vizcaino in the eighth inning.

The Braves didn’t want to leave Newcomb in any longer after the big left-hander worked one, two and three innings respectively in his first three starts.

He gave up four runs, four hits and two walks in six innings in those games including three homers (one per start). But in his past two starts he’s allowed just one hit, one run and one walk with eight strikeouts in 7 2/3 innings.

“Just the whole package, I keep thinking where he’s come from in a year,” Braves manager Brian Snitker said. “It’s pretty good compared to where he is now compared to where he was a year ago.  He’s done a lot of hard work.

“You get them out there and they get confidence and do this, that’s kind of what you’re looking for. You can see it’s a pretty good package in there. I think his confidence and his ability to have faith in himself a lot of times is big in that respect also.” 

He was sharp from the outset against a Phillies lineup featuring four regulars – Odubel Herrera, Cesar Hernandez, J.P. Crawford, Jorge Alfaro – along with prospects and minor leaguers. Newcomb had two strikeouts in the first inning and one in each the next four innings.

“I feel like the whole spring has kind of been a good progression forward,” he said. “Fastball was definitely the best it’s been so far, so I was able to get ahead with that.”

The Braves haven’t made it official yet but Newcomb will have one of the two rotation spots behind the trio of Julio Teheran, Mike Foltynewicz and veteran newcomer Brandon McCarthy. 

As a rookie in 2017, Newcomb was 4-9 with a 4.32 ERA and had 108 strikeouts with 57 walks in 100 innings.

Walks were his bugaboo as a rookie, and Newcomb has shown progress in that area this spring with 12 strikeouts and only two walks in 10-2/3 innings.

The reduced walks has been the most encouraging part of his spring for the Braves.

“Just a different mentality, attacking guys,” he said. “If they want to hit it, chances are it’s going to be an out. So I’ve just been attacking, playing for that, and everything’s been going well.

“I physically feel in control a little bit more too. I don’t know if it’s just a matter of experience, but I feel a little more in control of my fastball, I’m able to put that on the corners where I want to and everything’s working from there.”

Reader Comments ...

Next Up in Atlanta Braves

Braves’ Dansby Swanson exits early against Mets
Braves’ Dansby Swanson exits early against Mets

Braves shortstop Dansby Swanson left Tuesday’s game in New York with left hand soreness, the Braves announced. Swanson lined out to center in his at-bat and was replaced defensively by Charlie Culberson in the bottom of the inning. The team declared his exit precautionary. It’s unclear how Swanson was injured, but he appeared bothered after...
Braves postseason roster reliant on opponent matchups
Braves postseason roster reliant on opponent matchups

The Braves have confidence in who will comprise their postseason roster, though there’s still opportunity for some to make the 25-man set. Part of that will be determined by whom the Braves play. Lefty Max Fried is among those competing for a spot. He won’t make another start this season, manager Brian Snitker confirmed, but the team wants...
Arodys Vizcaino re-positioning himself as Braves closer
Arodys Vizcaino re-positioning himself as Braves closer

Braves righty Arodys Vizcaino is healthy and rejuvenated. As such, he may be reclaiming his closer duties. Vizcaino missed 55 games on the disabled list with shoulder inflammation. He was in the midst of a career-year, boasting a 1.65 ERA with 15 saves. A.J. Minter stepped in as closer in his absence. When the Braves were three outs from clinching...
Ex-Falcon McDonald, who played without a face mask, dies
Ex-Falcon McDonald, who played without a face mask, dies

Tommy McDonald, the small, speedy and sure-handed receiver who teamed with quarterback Norm Van Brocklin to help the Philadelphia Eagles win the 1960 NFL championship, has died. He was 84. His death was announced Monday by the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Details were not disclosed. McDonald played one season for the Falcons. In 1967, he had 33 catches...
Brian Snitker’s journey reaches latest apex: the playoffs 
Brian Snitker’s journey reaches latest apex: the playoffs 

Brian Snitker devoted 42 years to the Braves. On Saturday afternoon, the latest pinnacle of his commitment was realized. The manager, who took over as interim in May 2016, hugged bench coach Walt Weiss after the final out of the Braves’ 5-3 win over the Phillies, which clinched the National League East title. Snitker was filled with emotion,...
More Stories