Thursday, April 20, 2017

Atlanta Braves rebound from rough start to 2017 season with winning streak

Compared to this time last week, the Atlanta Braves have made a big turnaround.

As of Monday morning, the Braves were 5-6 overall with a winning percentage of .455. The Braves got off to a slow start, but reeled off four straight wins between Wednesday of last week and Sunday night against the Marlins and Padres to make their overall record a little more respectable.

Their offense has also cranked up and their defense, thanks in large part to their pitching, has stiffened. So far this season, the Braves have scored 45 total runs, an average of 4.1 runs per game. On the other side of the coin, they’ve given up 48 total runs, an average of 4.4 runs per game. Those numbers are a lot better than they were this time last week.

Probably the most significant thing that took place during the past week was their opening of their brand new stadium, SunTrust Park. As of Monday morning, the Braves were undefeated at their new park, sporting a 3-0 record.

The Braves played their first game at the park Friday night and beat the Padres, 5-2. The following night, they beat the Padres, 4-2, and on Sunday they beat the Padres, 9-2. Those nine runs on Sunday night were a season-high for the Braves, more evidence that their bats are starting to get warmed up.
Atlanta’s road record isn’t quite so hot, just 2-6 as of Monday morning. With that said, they did snap a five-game losing streak with a 5-4 road win at Miami on Wednesday of last week.

Atlanta was scheduled to play San Diego again on Monday night and then they have a three-game series against the Nationals that’ll wrap up today (Thursday). After that, they’ve got a long, eight-game road trip ahead of them that won’t come to an end until their return to SunTrust Park for the start of a series against the Mets on May 1.

Out of the everyday players, right fielder Matt Kemp is leading the Braves with a batting average of .500 thanks to an 8-for-16 showing at the plate so far this season. Center fielder Ender Inciarte hasn’t looked too shabby either. He’s leading the team with a team-high four home runs. Outfielder Nick Markakis and Inciarte are both tied for most RBIs with seven each to their credit as of Monday.

Even though the season is still very young, Arodys Vizcaino has a perfect .000 earned run average. As of Monday, he’s 1-0 overall with appearances in six games and six total innings pitched.

Pitchers Julio Teheran and Bartolo Colon are basically neck and neck when it comes to strike outs. As of Monday, Teheran has 15 Ks to his credit, and Colon was right behind him with 14.

In the end, Atlanta had a good week this past week, but the season is still young. As of Monday, they were third (next to last) in the National League East Division Standings. It’s often been said that you can’t win the division in April, but you can certainly lose it, so let’s hope they keep up their winning ways for the time being.

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