The Braves have now completed two interleague series and have fared pretty well seeing that they have played two first place teams. They began by taking two of three in Minnesota at the new Target Field and came home to take care of Evan Longoria and the Devil…errr the Rays. The Braves are holding on to first place over the surging Mets (yuck!) who have been playing some tough competition as well…The Orioles and the Indians. No wonder they have won 6 straight! They may as well have played the Toledo Mud Hens and the Hickory Crawdads…
So, now that the Braves have shown they can go toe to toe with the top-dogs in the AL, the next few series should be a breeze right? Wrong!
The Kansas City Royals are coming to Turner Field for a three game set this weekend. The Royals are 10 games under .500 and it if weren’t for the Indians, they would be in last place. So, the Royals are bad, but it doesn’t mean this series is going to be a breeze.
The Braves will face Zack Greinke on Saturday, and though his record isn’t what it was a year ago, he still has some of the nastiest stuff in the league. Our old Friend Kyle Davies will pitch on Sunday and you never know what a guy may do when he faces his former team.
The Royals, or as many call them the Braves of the AL (Since they pick up every former Brave available) have some hitters too. David DeJesus, who has been on the trading block since he was born, is hitting .329 5HR 31RBI, Scott Podsednik has swiped 19 bases, Jose Guillen (who is in one of his healthy years) has put up 13 HR 41RBI, and the best player on the team (in my opinion) Billy Butler is having another solid year batting .336 6 HR 36 RBI. The Royals have five players in all with over 30 RBI, so this team can swing the bat, it just so happens they let their opponents swing it better.
After the Braves play the Royals they will take a quick 3-game road trip to the South Side of Chicago to play the White Sox. Though the Sox are not playing up to their expectations, they have quality starting pitchers who can shut an offense down on any day (i.e. Mark Buerhle, Jake Peavy, John Danks, Gavin Floyd and Freddy Garcia, yes that Freddy Garcia). With a staff like that it is surprising the Pale Hose are not having a better season, but I guess it doesn’t help when the field manager and GM brawl once a week.
Like the Royals, the White Sox have some heavy hitters. Alex Rios is having a great year hitting .319 13 HR 33 RBI, Paul Konerko has 17HR 47 RBI, Juan Pierre has 27 SB and our old Friend Andruw Jones has jacked 10 HR (I’m assuming so he doesn’t have to run hard).
It has really been great to see the Braves outfield put up some numbers over the past week without a hole in the 8th spot in the lineup. Melky Cabrera has been playing every day and is acting more and more like himself (AKA like he played in New York). Gregor Blanco has come up from AAA Gwinnett and has been terrific both in the field and at the plate going 7 for 15 (.467 AVG). Eric Hinske has continues to prove that Frank Wren made some great decisions in the off-season (Roy Laus) and though Jason Heyward has been slumping, he’s still Jason Heyward!
I hate to say this is because Nate McLouth is out of the lineup for now, and I would never want someone to get hurt, or be happy about it…But I have to say during those rough games over the last month I may have rubbed an old lamp and said some things I shouldn’t have. I know I had nothing to do with that collision in Arizona, but just remember— be careful what you wish for…
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Until Next Time…Go Braves!