Braves’ current record: 81-60 (2nd in NL East, 5.5 games behind Washington Nationals)
September 4: Lost 6-0 vs. Colorado Rockies
September 5: Won 1-0 vs. Colorado Rockies
September 6: Won 1-0 vs. Colorado Rockies
September 7: Won 3-0 at New York Mets
September 8: Won 11-3 at New York Mets
September 9: Won 3-2 at New York Mets (10 innings)
The offense wasn’t in the spotlight this week, but more times than not, they eeked out just enough runs to get the win. If I could rate the Braves’ ability to leave runners on base this week, they’d definitely get a 10 out of 10. There’s one thing that should worry Braves fans more than anything else: their struggles to get runners in scoring position across the plate.
It was pleasant to see the Braves finally burst out and score more than 10 runs on Saturday, which was the first time they’ve done that since Aug. 8.
I would be remiss if I didn’t mention Dan Uggla’s weekend of redemption. His six hits in three games against the Mets was the best series he’s had since April, and he told the media he has figured out his issues and expects to become a much more feared hitter at the plate the rest of the way. If you believe him, you feel a lot better about the Braves’ lineup.
For the first time in exactly 10 years, the Braves pitched three consecutive shutouts. It’s amazing that this starting rotation has absorbed the loss of Brandon Beachy and remained dominant.
The MVP of this staff continues to be Kris Medlen, but Mike Minor, Paul Maholm and Tim Hudson were the three starters who contributed to the shutout streak this week. My roommate mentioned something interesting to me last night: One of the reasons why the second Wild Card team was introduced in each league was so the one-game playoff would use up the winner’s best pitcher. Thus, the division winner who gets to face the Wild Card winner has an advantage with a fully-rested staff.
But the Braves are so deep that there might not be a disadvantage if they win the Wild Card. Lose Hudson for the divisional series? No problem — just throw Maholm, Medlen and Minor out there to set the tone. We can pick up Hudson for Game 5. How good do the Braves have it with this rotation?
The Braves’ three errors in Tuesday night’s loss to the Rockies were hideous. They made another three errors the rest of the week. Six errors in six games? Definitely out of the ordinary for a defense that was averaging less than one error every other game. I hold the defense to a higher standard because they’ve been so clean, so this week was disappointing.
The week ahead:
Monday: at Milwaukee Brewers, 8:10 p.m.
Tuesday: at Milwaukee Brewers, 8:10 p.m.
Wednesday: at Milwaukee Brewers, 8:10 p.m.
Friday: vs. Washington Nationals, 7:35 p.m.
Saturday: vs. Washington Nationals, 4:05 p.m.
Sunday: vs. Washington Nationals, 8:00 p.m.