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 put Soroka back on DL, promote Santana
Braves put Soroka back on DL, promote Santana

Mike Soroka just came off his first disabled list stint. He’ll now experience his second. The Braves placed their prized 20-year-old righty on the 10-day DL with right shoulder inflammation, the same reason he was sidelined before returning against the Mets on June 13. Soroka made two starts since he was activated. He carried a no-hitter into...
Braves fans responding to first-place team
Braves fans responding to first-place team

The Braves’ surprising first-place position in the National League East has fueled a recent rise in attendance and an even sharper rise in TV ratings as many fans seem to shake off the team’s four consecutive losing seasons.  The Braves sold out their past three home games, marking the first three-game sellout streak at SunTrust Park...
LISTEN: Anthopoulos on surprising Braves and plans going forward
LISTEN: Anthopoulos on surprising Braves and plans going forward

After three consecutive seasons with at least 90 losses during the team’s much-chronicled rebuilding project, the Braves have turned things around in their first season with Alex Anthopoulos as general manager, sitting in first place in the National League East and on pace for 95 wins. Anthopoulos talked with the AJC’s David O’Brien...
Acuna to begin rehab assignment soon
Acuna to begin rehab assignment soon

As the denizens of Braves Country eagerly await the return of phenom Ronald Acuna, the energizing rookie outfielder went through a third consecutive day of rigorous injury-rehab workouts Wednesday at the team’s spring-training camp outside Orlando. The big news: He’s much closer to returning, probably no more than a day or two from starting...
Braves fans not impressed with game experience on Facebook 
Braves fans not impressed with game experience on Facebook 

Atlanta Braves fans were generally unhappy before the Braves-Blue Jays game aired Wednesday exclusively on Facebook Watch. They weren’t too thrilled following the online broadcast either. Rate your experience: Fans took to Twitter to express their opinions on the streaming service immediately after the stream concluded on Wednesday.  The...
More Stories