What a week! The Braves have come out of the gates swinging (literally) and personally, I’m coming off an exhausting weekend of moving—again! I have some advice for everyone…DON’T MOVE! It is such a hassle; from renting a U-Haul to the sore muscles I never knew existed, to the overwhelming feeling of finding a place to put stuff that will never be used. One thing I realized is that I, and most of this county, have too much stuff. We don’t need it…
Now that that is out of the way, let’s talk baseball…
Since it is only a week into the season, I’m going to focus on the positive; there’s no reason to call anyone out after a week of play. The highlight of the first week has definitely been the bullpen. Kimbrel has been unhittable, Venters has been lights-out, Moylan has baffled with his improved changeup, and the rest of the crew has been outstanding as well. Obviously it can’t be this way every time, but as long as everyone is healthy the Braves are going to be playing 6-inning games.
Derek Lowe (1-1) is showing the world that his hot September was no fluke. He pitched great on Opening Day and followed it up with another solid performance in Milwaukee on Tuesday. He did get tagged with the loss, but he only allowed one run that was courtesy of a Yovani Gallardo bloop single that led to a Ryan Braun single off Chipper’s glove. He has been racking up the strikeouts (something Steve is benefitting from in the ABT Fantasy League).
After the series win against Washington and the game 1 win against Milwaukee (who I picked to win the NL Central this year), I was feeling pretty good about the Braves so far and I still do. I didn’t expect to drop the next three games, and more specifically drop them the way they did. You have to give Gallardo credit for the way he pitched (who I benefitted from in the ABT fantasy league), but Minor didn’t perform they way he has all spring and Hanson struggled again.
The offense was much too familiar to the Braves offense of April 2010 in the Milwaukee series. They didn’t get key hits when they needed them and looked like they didn’t have a game-plan. I wasn’t looking for a series sweep by any means, but the Braves did get a break not having to face Zack Greinke or having to pitch to Corey Hart (and they still couldn’t even manage a split.)
Omar Infante Who? It’s only been a week, but Dan Uggla has been as advertised, and more. He has shown he can play second base (he’s made some great plays in the field) and he is the right-handed power bat the Braves have needed. 1-8, there is no break in the Braves’ lineup this year, something I’ve been saying about the Phillies for the last couple years.
During the off-season I really wanted to come up with a reoccurring segment for my blog this year. I kicked around some ideas and I think I have found something that will be interesting. Here it goes…
Obscure Brave of the Week: Tommy Gregg
Gregg played for the Braves from 1989-1992 and again in 1997 (He kicked around with the Pirates, Marlins and the Reds for a few years too).He spent time at first base, outfield and was used as a pinch hitter quite a bit. A career .243 hitter, Gregg is best known (to me) as having a sweet moustache and mullet on his 1991 Topps card.
He is the first player I ever had a picture with—it was in 2001 at Spring Training when he was serving as a minor league coach for the Braves. I guess I was just in the right place, at the right time.
Gregg currently serves as the hitting coach for the Omaha Royals, the AAA affiliate for the KC Royals.
Until next time… Go Braves!