Anthony Varvaro didn’t need to give outfielder Jordan Schafer any grief for tossing the ball from his first career save into the right field stands Friday night. The rest of the team apparently did, and the manager too.
“I was going through the (handshake) line and everyone was making fun of me,” Schafer said. “Then Fredi (Gonzalez) wouldn’t even shake my hand. I was like ‘I didn’t know.’ I felt bad.”
Said Gonzalez: “I’ve never seen a team win a game 2-1 and everybody happy and everybody yelling at Schafer the whole time.”
Gonzalez told him, rather sternly, to go get the ball back and Schafer took the hint. He went and got one of his bats – “It’s not like they worked the last two games anyway,” Schafer quipped. He asked fans which one he threw the ball to and then traded his bat for it.
“His dad wrote me on Twitter saying ‘I’m glad you came back out because he liked the bat a lot better than the ball,’” Schafer said.
For his part, Varvaro said he told Schafer it wasn’t that big a deal, but then couldn’t resist poking fun at Schafer too: “Apparently he went back out there and somehow got ahold of it. I don’t know if he went into the batting cage and picked one up or what, but he came back with one.”
Varvaro earned the save after pitching two scoreless innings, with closer Craig Kimbrel unavailable having pitched three days in a row. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Varvaro was the first Braves pitcher to record a save after holding a one-run lead for the eighth and ninth innings since 2005 when Chris Reitsma got a six-out save for John Smoltz.
The Braves haven’t been able to acquire the ace they might have wanted for the top of their rotation, but they secured the depth they needed Monday with the signing of free agent right-hander Gavin Floyd.
One week after the Braves were eliminated by the Dodgers in a four-game division series, Braves general manager Frank Wren met with the team’s beat writers and discussed the 2013 season and the team’s needs going into the offseason.