It is so interesting how quickly the perception of a team can change. Last night the Atlanta Braves lost another close game to the Washington Nationals, 3 – 1. The big gripe was the same as the night before from Braves fans. The offense is gone! They can’t it at all. Some call for Dan Uggla to sit and other say B.J. Upton should as well. Everyone needs to take a step back and breathe for a minute. Things aren’t as bad as you think and I will prove it to you.
Last season the Braves had an okay offense most would say but they didn’t have the big play ability that the 2013 Braves have. After April a year ago the Braves had a batting average of .259 and 23 homers. On this date last year the Braves were 15-11 and 1.5 games behind the Nationals in the East.
Now look at where they are this year in comparison. Their batting average is a little lower around .247 but everyone expected more strikeouts this season. That small drop in batting average isn’t a huge deal. Their runs scored are roughly identical give or take a run or two. The only stat with a large difference is homeruns where they have 38 this year and lead the major leagues. Most importantly they are 17-11 and 2.5 ahead of the Nationals.
I think at the end of the day every Braves fan wants a better result this year than last year. Well after the first month we are right on schedule to do better. As far as the recent struggles go, they are being blown out of proportion a bit. If you don’t believe me just consider how quickly everyone forgot the 8 runs they manufactured off of another great Nationals pitcher on Tuesday night. The hitting is better even though they have struggled. The pitching is better with two big guns returning soon.
Speaking of big guns returning soon, don’t forget that Brian McCann returns at the beginning of next week with his bat in flames it’s so hot. Jason Heyward wasn’t hitting great when he had surgery that will keep him out until the end of May at least, but he was a Chipper Jones like presence. I mean that even when Heyward isn’t hitting, his presence in the line-up makes a big difference. I understand the initial need to overreact but if the Braves blew out the New York Mets three games in a row we would all forget this. Take a breath; they are already better than a year ago and soon to get healthy. Things will be fine and fun through the summer.