Ben Sheets was a huge piece of the Braves' puzzle in 2012. No one expected the veteran righty to come out of retirement, let alone pitch at the level he did in July and August. On Wednesday, as Atlanta wrapped up the regular season, Sheets left it all on the mound during the final inning of his career.
He touched 95 with his fastball multiple times and struck out two of the three batters he faced, including Andrew McCutchen. It was a fitting finish for a guy who was one of the best pitchers in the game a decade ago.
Atlanta went on to win their regular season finale by a score of 4-0.
Chipper Jones, also playing the final regular season game of his career, came off the bench in the sixth inning as a pinch hitter and ripped the first fastball he saw into right field for a single. He came around to score on a single from journeyman catcher J.C. Boscan.
The Braves' pitching staff was terrific. Luis Avilan picked up the win after working the second inning. Julio Teheran tossed two scoreless innings. Randall Delgado struck out all three batters he faced in the fifth. Cory Gearrin and Eric O'Flaherty made quick work of the Pirates in their 1-2-3 innings. Jonny Venters struck out two in the eighth, and Craig Kimbrel wrapped up an incredible season with three strikeouts.
It was a great way to send out a team that has been a true joy to watch all season.
The Braves now return home to Atlanta to begin preparations for their one-game playoff with the Cardinals. The start time is to be determined, but we do know Kris Medlen and Kyle Lohse will be on the mound.