Major League Baseball’s Opening Day has come and gone, and reality is setting in for many teams across the Big Leagues. While the season is still very young, the honeymoon is pretty much over for the Atlanta Braves.
I try to keep things positive and want to see the Braves do well, but they are off to a rough start. As of Monday afternoon, the Braves were 1-5 overall, but I guess it could be worse. They could be 0-6.
They began the regular season Monday of last week with a 6-0 loss to their division rival, the New York Mets, at Citi Field in Flushing, N.Y. After a day off, the Braves rebounded on Wednesday of last week with a 3-1 win (their only so far of the season) thanks in large part to starting pitcher, 43-year-old Bartolo Colon, who actually played for the Mets last season.
The Braves dropped the next day’s game against the Mets before moving on to PNC Park in Pittsburgh, where Atlanta was swept by the Pirates.
So far this season, Atlanta’s starting pitching hasn’t looked bad, but their bullpen hasn’t been strong enough to close the deal in the late innings. Ironically, none of Atlanta’s starting pitchers have recorded a win this season. In the only game they’ve won, the pitching win went to reliever Jim Johnson, who is 10 years younger than Colon.
Atlanta’s defense has been somewhat average. They haven’t given up a lot of runs so far this season, not more than six runs in any given game. Some of those runs have come late in the game including two runs late against the Pirates in an extra inning game Sunday.
At the plate, the Braves have appeared sluggish and there have been few bright spots aside from dependable first baseman Freddie Freeman, who is currently batting .346.
With that said, it’s a long season, so perhaps it’s just taking a little while for Atlanta to get their ducks in a row. Atlanta was scheduled to play a short, two-game series against the Marlins on Tuesday and Wednesday. I won’t know how those games have come out before this week’s paper hits the streets, but like a lot of Atlanta fans, I hope they’ve worked some of the kinks out and picked up two more wins.
I thought Brian Snitker did a fair job as Atlanta’s manager last season, when he was picked to come in to replace Fredi Gonzalez, who was canned after a poor start last season. Gonzalez is currently the third base coach for the Marlins, and he may end up watching Snitker on his way out of the manager’s chair in Atlanta this week when the two teams meet in Miami.
Only time will tell how long Snitker will remain as manager in Atlanta, but I think it’s safe to say he’s on the hot seat. If Atlanta doesn’t turn things around, the front office folks will probably pull the trigger early on in hopes of putting a manager in place who will right the ship before it’s too late.
Atlanta will play their first regular season game in their new stadium, SunTrust Park, tomorrow (Friday) when they face San Diego at 6:35 p.m. More than anything, the Braves folks want a good season to go along with their brand-new stadium. Who can blame them?