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Timely Evan Gattis homer powers Braves past Dodgers

May 18, 2013, 10:15 PM EDT

Philadelphia Phillies v Atlanta Braves Getty Images

The Evan Gattis story keeps on getting better. With the Braves struggling to put together any kind of offensive threat against Dodgers starter Chris Capuano, trailing 1-0 heading into the eighth, Evan Gattis provided a pinch-hit two-run home run against reliever Kenley Jansen to give the Braves the 2-1 lead and eventually the win.

A catcher by trade, Gattis was bumped down on the depth chart when Brian McCann returned from the DL after dealing with a shoulder injury. The Braves have tried to find a spot in the lineup for Gattis by slotting him in at first base and, more recently, left field when he isn’t riding the pine. The 26-year-old entered the night with seven home runs in 126 trips to the plate, the Braves’ best power threat thus far behind Justin Upton.

The Gattis story is quite interesting — he was a college baseball bust battling substance abuse, taking various odd jobs across the country, including working in a pizza parlor, as a parking valet, as a ski-lift operator, and as a janitor. He got the itch to play baseball again, earning a spot with the University of Texas of the Permian Basin team. He hit .403 with 11 home runs, which was good enough to merit a selection in the 23rd round of the 2010 draft by the Braves. Gattis quickly moved his way up the ladder and, with McCann on the sidelines throughout spring, earned a spot on the big league roster going into the 2013 season.

You’ll be hard-pressed to find a better redemption story, and even harder-pressed not to be happy for what Gattis is accomplishing on the field.

  1. manchestermiracle - May 18, 2013 at 10:22 PM

    Not bad enough the starting pitching is going south, now the bullpen has melted down, serving up game-winning homers to pinch hitters that don’t even start at their position. Aside from the Astros and Marlins, if you want to rebound and get a win or two just play the Dodgers.

  2. knowlegeforyou - May 19, 2013 at 12:17 AM

    Gattis isn’t your typical pinch hitter. he would start for just about any other team

  3. innout10 - May 19, 2013 at 1:40 AM

    He will be starting over BJ soon

  4. Walk - May 19, 2013 at 2:29 AM

    Only if they decide heyward can play center. I have seen him play there a few times but I doubt that is going to happen with any regularity.

    • Kevin S. - May 19, 2013 at 6:39 AM

      Agreed – both Heyward and J-Up could cover center in an absolute pinch, but the Braves are much, much stronger defensively with a plus defensive CF and two quality CO than a guy faking it in center and a catcher blundering around in left.

  5. bigdinla - May 19, 2013 at 10:44 AM

    Gattis started as a LF. He moved to C as a way to keep him on the roster.

    • Walk - May 19, 2013 at 7:28 PM

      Gattis was converted from a catcher to an outfielder last year in the minors. His bat was good they were just trying to find him a place to play if he cracked the major league roster. He has played a few games at first as well but still looks best behind the plate.

  6. jimeejohnson - May 19, 2013 at 1:04 PM

    Dodgers are a big disappointment, AGAIN. I’m no fan or hater, but I am a long time fan of this great game and can’t remember the Dodgers being such underachievers given the talent they have on their roster. The Dodgers are almost as bad as the team that replaced them: the Mets!

  7. ezzz2the - May 19, 2013 at 5:25 PM

    By the way McCann struggles at the end of every year keep Gattis on the bench he’ll be needed

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