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Brave Lose Another Starting Pitcher to Injury

The National League East is separated by just a half game after 70 games of the season. The Washington Nationals lead the division by that amount over the Atlanta Braves after the Braves beat the Nationals on Thursday night.

However, with the win came some bad news. The Braves lost starting pitcher Gavin Floyd to a fracture in his elbow.

The Atlanta Braves have had injury problems with their starting rotation since spring training and those woes continued on Thursday night.

Floyd broke a bone in his right elbow, his throwing elbow, during the Braves 3-0 win over Washington. The bone he broke was the olecranon.

The injury took place after Floyd made his first pitch in the seventh inning.

Floyd said his elbow was fine until the first pitch of the seventh when he felt it pop, but he said he did not feel much pain.

Floyd will now return on Friday to Atlanta where team doctors will give him an examination. This injury is so uncommon that neither he nor Fredi Gonzalez the Atlanta manager could say when Floyd might return to the Atlanta lineup.

Joel Zumaya suffered an injury that was similar while pitching for Detroit in 2010 and his career was ended.

After making his first pitch in the seventh inning, Floyd flexed his right arm awkwardly. Atlanta’s trainer came to the mound to examine Floyd and pulled him from the game.

This was the ninth start of the season for Floyd since coming back from his Tommy John surgery on the same right elbow. However, Gonzalez pointed out that the two injuries were not related.

Floyd, at the time of his injury, had given up just 2 hits and thrown just 64 total pitches with one walk and six strikeouts. His record now stands at 2-2 with an ERA of 2.65.

Floyd is 72-72 in his 11-year career with the Chicago White Sox, Philadelphia Phillies and Atlanta.

Atlanta lost three pitchers during spring during this past February and March. All three, Cory Gearrin a reliever and starters Brandon Beachy and Kris Medlen were lost for the season. The injuries greatly hurt the Braves chances of repeating as champions of the National League East.

However, after 72 games, Atlanta is just a half game out of first place in the East. Julio Teheran has been the Braves best starting pitcher. In 15 starts, Teheran is 6-4 with an ERA of 2.31. Teheran leads the team in wins, ERA and strikeouts with 84.

However, only two other starters besides Teheran have 13 or more starts. Ervin Santana has 13 starts and is 5-4 on the season, while Aaron Harang has 15 starts and is 5-6 on the season. Two other starters have 9 starts on the season, but one of those was Floyd.

Craig Kimbrel has picked up where he ended last season with 21 saves as the team stopper. David Carpenter has 10 holds to lead the staff in that department.

Even though the Braves have had their problems in their starting rotation, the NL East is generally a weak division compared to the other two NL divisions and Atlanta looks like it will be contending for the NL East title come September.

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