The Atlanta Braves came into this season with no expectations from the “experts,” but you still have to play the games. They sit at 22-21 just 3.5 games back of the Nationals. It has been a battle with early season pitching struggles from the rotation and the bullpen let’s just say many gray hairs for me. Over the couple of weeks that has changed the starters have gone deeper into ballgames giving the young bullpen rest and going to the veterans that have great track records in Jason Grilli and Jim Johnson. The pitching has turned it around and been what we expected at the beginning of the season, patience has paid off big time with our young staff and it’s fun to see guys taking advantage of their opportunities.
The offense has been a pleasant surprise that is thanks to new hitting coach Kevin Seitzer and the contact guys that were brought in this off-season. Seitzer has turned an offense that struck out 9 times per game last season to an offense with the 2nd fewest strikeouts so far with just 269. Doesn’t seem like much but last year we ranked 27th with 1,369 it was hard to watch for sure. The team has also improved dramatically with runners in scoring position with an average .302 and with 2-outs hitting at a .285 clip. It’s amazing how a new philosophy and voice can change how a team approaches each at-bat. The offense is a big reason we are playing for each other and doing the little things to win ball games.
The team is 7-3 in the last ten games, as we head out west to face the Dodgers, Giants, and Diamondbacks for 10 games. This will be a telling trip as we face Clayton Kershaw, Zach Greinke, Madison Bumgarner, Tim Hudson and Tim Lincecum. Tough sledding, but we have shown we can play with anyone it should be fun to watch! My motto for this team is Heart and Hussle never giving I love the start we are off to Go Braves!!