Braves’ current record: 66-48 (2nd in NL East, 4.5 games behind Washington Nationals)
August 3: Won 4-1 vs. Houston Astros
August 4: Lost 3-2 vs. Houston Astros
August 5: Won 6-1 vs. Houston Astros
August 6: Won 6-1 at Philadelphia Phillies
August 7: Lost 3-0 at Philadelphia Phillies
August 8: Won 12-6 at Philadelphia Phillies
August 10: Won 4-0 at New York Mets
August 11: Won 9-3 at New York Mets
August 12: Lost 6-5 at New York Mets
The Braves dispatched of three bad teams this week, but the offense wasn’t spectacular. However, they deserve praise for striking early in most of the games, allowing their starters a chance to pitch with the lead, instead of pitching from behind. That helped a new-look staff get comfortable and win more games than they lost.
Luckily, the Braves have remained healthy, for the most part, over the last couple of weeks. Second baseman Dan Uggla is beginning to hit his stride again, raising his batting average slightly during the month of August. He has a long way to go before he’s the feared hitter he can be, but Uggla is averaging a hit per game this month, and that’s much better than where he was in June and July.
In the last nine games, Braves pitching has only allowed more than three runs twice (and one of those was a 12-6 win over the Phillies). The staff has been in flux for the last month at least, but they continue to band together and accept their ever-changing makeup.
Paul Maholm got his first win in a Braves uniform Friday night, shutting out the Mets while throwing a three-hitter. This was one of those trades that will make the Braves a much better team, because they have a really good chance to win every time Maholm takes the mound.
Look for the Braves to possibly expand to a six-man starting rotation, because with the addition of Kris Medlen to the starting rotation, they now have six capable starters, and I don’t think they should demote one of them to the bullpen just because most starting rotations consist of five pitchers.
The Braves have been exceptional in the field, committing only three errors in the last nine games combined. The squad wanted to go to Philadelphia and sweep the Phillies, and they knew it would take clean defense to pull off that feat, even with a much-beleaguered Philly team. The Braves played an error-free series at Citizens Bank Park, and that shows me the defense is going to be a big rock to lean on down the stretch.
The week ahead:
Monday: vs. San Diego Padres, 7:10 p.m.
Tuesday: vs. San Diego Padres, 7:10 p.m.
Wednesday: vs. San Diego Padres, 7:10 p.m.
Thursday: vs. San Diego Padres, 7:10 p.m.
Friday: vs. Los Angeles Dodgers, 7:35 p.m.
Saturday: vs. Los Angeles Dodgers, 7:10 p.m.
Sunday: vs. Los Angeles Dodgers, 1:35 p.m.