Saturday, July 2, 2011

Braves at the halfway point

I'm really impressed by what the Braves have been able to do in the first half of the season. The injuries started to pile up; Prado, Heyward, McClouth. And aside from Brian McCann no one has had a great year offensively. Dan Uggla has been terrible. Chipper has been ok. Heyward has been poor when in there. Freddie Freeman has been solid, especially for such a young player. But overall the offense has been mediocre.

The pitching has been outstanding. Jair Jurrjens has the best starters ERA in the NL, helped by the one hit shutout he pitched last night. This has been kind of surprising to me because he was hurt to start the year (which is why I dropped him from my fantasy team, stupid me). And he isn't a strikeout pitcher nor does he have great command. He relies on a low 90s two seem fastball that moves a lot to get ground balls. But his control has been good enough and he is doing a good job of keeping the ball on the ground.

The same can always be said of Hudson and Lowe. They have been solid compliments to Jurrjens, along with Hanson and Beachy. The bullpen has been pretty good too, especially Venters and Kimbrel. They are nearly lights out in the 8th and 9th. Overall I figured the pitching staff would be good, just not quite this good. If the bats wake up a bit (especially Uggla and Heyward) they have a good shot at challenging the Phillies for the East.

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