Sean Newcomb impresses while earning second career save

Atlanta Braves relief pitcher Sean Newcomb works in the fifth inning of a spring training baseball game against the Boston Red Sox on Monday, March 29, 2021, in North Port, Fla. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)
Atlanta Braves relief pitcher Sean Newcomb works in the fifth inning of a spring training baseball game against the Boston Red Sox on Monday, March 29, 2021, in North Port, Fla. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

Credit: John Bazemore

Credit: John Bazemore

Braves lefty Sean Newcomb capped the team’s doubleheader sweep by overwhelming three Nationals hitters in the seventh inning of the second game Wednesday. Newcomb struck out Andrew Stevenson, Hernan Perez and Ryan Zimmerman to end the game.

“That’s closer stuff right there with that fastball,” manager Brian Snitker said after the game.

Newcomb still considers himself a starter, but the Braves entered the 2021 viewing him strictly as a reliever. He found success in the role in 2019, but his transition back to the rotation in 2020 was a bust. Now, the Braves are hoping he’ll rediscover the aggressiveness he adopted during his previous bullpen stint.

The southpaw had an impressive spring and showed more promise Wednesday. The Braves are well-stocked with lefties in their bullpen, but a team can never have too many strikeout artists. Newcomb’s evolution is an under-the-radar storyline for the Braves’ season. If he builds off his latest outing, maybe he earns his way into more high-leverage spots.

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