The Braves’ Week in Review: September 24-30

Braves fans cheer as Eric Hinske sprays them with champagne after the Braves beat the Miami Marlins 4-3, clinching a National League wild-card berth Tuesday, Sept. 25, 2012, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/David Goldman)
Chipper’s weekend was full of standing ovations, as expected. (AP Photo/David Tulis)

This will be my final Week in Review of the season. As the postseason begins, I will write pieces about the Braves as long as they’re alive, but it will not be in this format.

Braves’ current record: 93-66 (2nd in NL East, 3 games behind Washington Nationals)

Last week:
September 25: Won 4-3 vs. Miami Marlins
September 26: Won 3-0 vs. Miami Marlins
September 27: Won 6-2 vs. Miami Marlins
September 28: Lost 3-1 vs. New York Mets
September 29: Won 2-0 vs. New York Mets
September 30: Won 6-2 vs. New York Mets

Offense: B

I’m not going to mince words. The Braves are going to enter the playoffs with an offense that disappears at times. Usually, the disappearing act occurs when there are runners in scoring position. That’s a large liability when you have to play a one-game playoff just to get into the NLDS. One bad day at the plate could mean a team with 90-plus wins won’t even get into the tournament.

But they won five of six this week, and some of the credit belongs to the offense. Second baseman Dan Uggla is still trying to decide whether or not he will heat up at the most opportune time — six hits this week is a step in the right direction. He batted .291 in September, which was his best month of the entire season.

Another fear has to be with third baseman Chipper Jones. He had to play the final six home games of the season because so many fans were coming from all over the country to witness history. He’s been getting frequent days off all year, and he’s going to need some rest before the postseason begins. I’m worried his body won’t respond well as he holds nothing back in the final days of his career. Hopefully, he’ll have something left in the tank and be a reliable hitter in the postseason.

Pitching: A

The staff gets high marks this week for doing exactly what they needed to do: Shut down lesser offenses and allow the lineup to do the heavy lifting. It was relieving to see Tommy Hanson earn his first victory since July 30 in Thursday’s win over the Marlins.

The Braves have now won 23 consecutive games started by Kris Medlen — something that had never been done in Major League Baseball history before now. His next start would be the Wild Card game on Friday, or Game 1 of the NLDS if they win the division. And closer Craig Kimbrel notched three more saves this week, getting him to 42 on the season with three games remaining.

Defense: B

The Braves made four errors in six games this week. Not bad. They’ll likely finish the season with the fewest errors committed in the National League. Solid defense is underrated in the playoffs, where every play becomes magnified — keep that in mind at the end of this week.

The week ahead:
Monday: at Pittsburgh Pirates, 7:05 p.m.
Tuesday: at Pittsburgh Pirates, 7:05 p.m.
Wednesday: at Pittsburgh Pirates, 12:35 p.m.
End of Regular Season

Back to home page