Overall, this was a bad week for Braves fans. Anytime a team loses an MVP hopeful for multiple months, there is reason for pessimism among fans. With this being said, the Braves play and the moves made by the front office this past weeks are still very encouraging.
Things got chippy in the four game split-series with the Toronto Blue Jays. This was a really fun offensive series to watch as the Braves claimed both games up north before coming back to SunTrust Park to face them two more times. Things went sour when Freddie Freeman got hit on the wrist by a pitch and Jose Bautista did one of his infamous bat flips despite being down four runs. This led to the benches clearing twice, and Bautista ended up getting beaned the next day. Losing Freeman for two months is catastrophic for the Braves, but them taking three of four against the Blue Jays was huge.
The winning ways carried over into the weekend home series against Washington. The Nationals have been a huge pain in the Braves’ behind in recent years, and have truly dominated them. Despite no Freddie Freeman or Adonis Garcia in the lineup, the team took two of three from the Nats, something they have struggled to do even at full strength.
The main reason for the Braves’ success has been the offensive breakthrough for the team. They have averaged over five runs per game in this ten game stretch in which they have won seven games. Freeman is a huge loss, but with the way Matt Kemp, Nick Markakis, Tyler Flowers and Dansby Swanson have been hitting the ball, they may be able to pick up the slack. The bullpen has also been absolutely amazing after a rough start to the season.
The front office was quick to react to the Freeman injury as they traded for Matt Adams. This is a great trade for the Braves, as Adams will serve as a really solid fill in during Freddie’s absence. Coppy has worked his magic once again. The lineup still is not bad, it is the starting pitching that is killing Atlanta. They really need Julio Teheran to pitch well at home, where he has struggled to get comfortable.
The Braves real test will come next week when they go on a west coast road trip. The team has really struggled to accumulate wins out west the past two seasons. If they can continue their winning ways through that stretch, then it will really be time to take the Braves seriously, with or without Freddie Freeman.