After a bumpy April and early May, the Braves have shown life. On Sunday, they completed a home stand that saw them post a 6-3 record. Before that, the team posted a 7-2 road trip against divisional foes
Their strength is obviously starting pitching. Derek Lowe (6-2, 3.45 ERA) and Jair Jurrjens (4-2, 2.07 ERA) lead the staff, and if they both continue to pitch well, they deserve consideration for the All-Star game. Japanese pitcher Kenshin Kawakami had been a disappointment until his start last Friday. He outlasted
The offense is the biggest concern. Entering the season, most conceded the Braves would not be an offensive juggernaut, and that has played out so far. Injuries have not helped the situation. Catcher Brian McCann has spent time on the disabled list. Third baseman Chipper Jones and leftfielder Garrett Anderson have both struggled with injuries that caused them to miss games. To compete for the title, these three must stay healthy.
Maybe my loyalty is getting in the way of my sound judgment, but I think the Braves will be in this until September. The Mets are underachievers, the Phillies look like they are suffering a World Series' hangover, and the Marlins are too streaky.
If the Braves find a way to score four runs a game, they will be playing in October.