Braves’ current record: 15-11 (2nd in NL East, 1 game behind Washington Nationals)
April 27: Won 6-1 vs. Pittsburgh Pirates
April 28: Lost 4-2 vs. Pittsburgh Pirates
April 29: Won 4-3 vs. Pittsburgh Pirates
April 30: Lost 9-3 Pittsburgh Pirates
May 1: Lost 4-2 vs. Philadelphia Phillies
May 2: Won 15-13 vs. Philadelphia Phillies (11 innings)
May 3: Lost 4-0 vs. Philadelphia Phillies
This offense just seems to have more firepower lately, doesn’t it? I downgraded the offense from a “B+” to a “B” because the team’s run production declined this week, but I’m convinced that the offense will be OK. In their four losses this week, the lineup averaged less than two runs per game, but they faced better pitching than they saw last week, and I’m not fazed by a slow week.
Keep in mind that the Braves hung eight runs on Phillies ace Roy Halladay Wednesday night, which is something you don’t see too often. That performance definitely helped keep the offense out of the C-range, because the struggles at the plate, despite a lineup that looks more and more loaded, was frustrating to watch.
The Braves made three errors this week, but they also gave us several highlight-reel catches over the course of the last seven games. Errors are going to happen, and if they can stay at a pace of about three per week, I won’t have issues with the defense. When they add a couple of really special plays to some consistent fielding, this is a fun bunch to watch.
Starter Randall Delgado had two more rough outings this week, losing both starts to drop to 2-3 on the year. The Braves have enough quality pitchers waiting in the wings to allow their No. 5 starter to flounder. But in those two losses, the Braves scored a total of two runs. That isn’t Delgado’s fault.
Only two starters got a victory this week, and even though the Braves have a deep bullpen with several relievers that can throw multiple innings, they need to get more innings from their starting pitchers. They don’t need a repeat of last season’s burnout in the bullpen.
The return of Tim Hudson from an injury should help with this problem, as he’s consistently pitched deep into games throughout his years with the Braves. He got one of those starters’ victories this week, and Tommy Hanson got the other.
The week ahead:
Friday: at Colorado Rockies, 8:40 p.m.
Saturday: at Colorado Rockies, 8:10 p.m.
Sunday: at Colorado Rockies, 3:10 p.m.
Monday: at Chicago Cubs, 8:05 p.m.
Tuesday: at Chicago Cubs, 8:05 p.m.
Wednesday: at Chicago Cubs, 2:20 p.m.