After Thursday’s Opening Day loss to the New York Mets, I mentioned that there is no reason for Braves fans to panic, or even worry.
Now, the Braves are 0-3 after a series sweep at the hands of the hated, lowly rivals. It’s the first time since 2003 that the Braves started the season with three consecutive losses (they went on to win 101 games that year, for what it’s worth).
The Bravos are in pretty good company, as the Yankees, Red Sox, Twins and Giants are also winless to this point. So, logical thinking would state that there’s nothing to panic over.
But why am I still a little worried?
Maybe it’s because the Braves didn’t seem to hit much at all in any of the three games, save for the seventh inning of today’s 7-5 defeat. Or it could be the sight of a sweep by the Mets coming at the expense of my team, which is always excruciating.
Or maybe it’s because something just doesn’t look right about this team.
Brian McCann is batting .091 through three games. Chipper Jones is still out with an injury. Pitching, which is supposed to be the strong point of this squad, isn’t really getting it done. The breaks aren’t going their way, either.
With one more series on the road before they return home for the home opener, the Braves need to salvage this road trip by winning at least two of three against the Houston Astros. If they lose the series — or even worse, get swept — Turner Field’s Opening Day will be hideous.
We’re used to huge crowds on Opening Day at the Ted; sometimes, it’s the biggest crowd of the year. But, a Friday night? Eight days after the season started? Against the Milwaukee Brewers? When they’re 1-5 or even worse?
Believe me — you’ll be able to find a ticket if you want to go and haven’t scored one yet.
Atlanta isn’t a town where you can re-claim the fanbase easily if the season starts poorly, especially with a team that was picked by Sports Illustrated to finish fourth in their own division. Braves fans are so spoiled that we rolled our eyes when that prediction dropped, figuring it was the experts who didn’t know what they were talking about.
This is supposed to be the easy part of the Braves schedule. Six of their first 12 games are against the Mets, and the other six are against the Astros and Brewers. It’s only going to get tougher from here.
If the Braves know what’s good for them (and their fanbase), they’ll roll into Houston and sweep the Astros to start this week.