The Atlanta Braves now own not only the best record in the NL East, but the entire National League at 37-27. It is still relatively early in the season, but Braves fans should be ecstatic, I know I am. Atlanta’s pitching has truly been the backbone of their team thus far. Listen, with all the hype pitchers like Halladay, Jimenez, Strasburg, Lincecum etc get (rightfully so), the Braves staff is as consistent as it gets. Just taking a quick look at the Braves box scores for the past 2 months can paint a pretty big picture for the teams success. Rarely do you see an opposing team put up more than 3 runs against this top to bottom staff.
I think it is about time I gave some props to not only Atlanta’s starting pitchers, but there dynamite bullpen. Peter Moylan has been a mainstay posting a (3-1) record and a 3.51 era. The sub marine chucker from the land down under (Australia) has proven to make big pitches in big situations on a regular basis. Kris Medlen (4-1) 3.23 era has done a little bit of everything for Atlanta this season. The 24 year old right hander has thrown 61.1 innings this year from both the bullpen, and as a starter due to the injury to Jair Jurrgens. His 4:1 strikeout to walk ratio is absolutely brillant, and he is only getting better. Eric O’Flaherty has been a left handed mastermind coming out of the pen this season by posting a (2-1) record with a staggering 2.10 era. This guy punches out left handed hitting like it’s his job….Oh wait it is! O’Flaherty is designed specifically to get Ryan Howard down the stretch of the season. I will admit I may have been wrong about Billy Wagner from the get go. Wagner is currently relaxing at 4-0 with a team low era of 1.42. Billy is still pumping some of the nastiest pitches I have seen from any closer in a long time. He is consistently blowing up radar guns around the league at a whopping 98 mph. Wagner has 11 saves in 13 opportunites.
The start of inter-league play has been kind to Atlanta so far by taking 2 of 3 from the Minnesota Twins. There biggest challenge awaits on Tuesday against the red hot, first place, Tampa Bay Rays. Game 1 doesn’t look too promising for Atlanta as Kenshin Kawakami takes the mound with a record of (0-8) against former number 1 pick David Price (9-2) 2.23 era. Home field might give Atlanta the boost they need to prove to the rest of baseball that they truly belong.
About the Author
Written by Bill Furey
My name is Bill Furey, and I am from Chelmsford, Massachusetts. I am 25 years old, and a complete baseball guru. This will be my first year blogging for major league baseball, and I am really looking forward to both voicing my opinion as well as covering games. As a former 3rd basemen for the University of Massachusetts-Lowell I got the amazing opportunity to compete, admire, and most importantly learn from some of the most talented players, and coaches this great game has to offer. Growing up in New England I have always been a die hard fan of the Sox, Pats, Celts, and Bruins. My love, understanding, and respect for the game of baseball takes major precedent in my life. I currently coach one of Massachusetts best 13 year old baseball teams. Teaching the game of baseball to young talented players is something I truly look forward to every time I take the field. The relationships I built from this wonderful game are better than any home run, stolen base, or any winning season. Baseball has given me life lessons I couldn't have learned anywhere else in the world. A baseball quote that best describes my passion for the game is this: "You see, you spend a good piece of your life gripping a baseball, and in the end it turns out that it was the other way around all the time." Jim Bouton, Ball Four, 1970. I look forward to covering the Atlanta Braves this season, and getting some great feedback from my followers. Play ball.