As they finally near the clinching point of their long and winding season the Atlanta Braves deserve a breather more than any team headed to the postseason. The latest of the devastating blows they took was the broken jaw to the man who was carrying the offense, Jason Heyward. It was a huge blow to chemistry on the field and especially offensively. The hole he left at the top of the order looks now more like a chasm.
All of that is coming to an end however, as Heyward could be back in the batting order as early as next week. One of the big things that made his leading off a success was the placement of Justin Upton in the two-hole. Upton also came alive at that time and really made it difficult for pitchers to get through the first inning without an incident.
Right on cue as Heyward nears his return, Upton is heating up. Freddie Freeman will be able to come alive again once so much pressure isn’t on him to deliver and in fact he is already hitting better since Evan Gattis and Upton began slamming balls everywhere. One rumor has Heyward possibly playing center field so that both Gattis and Upton can join him.
That only means that Heyward has to get his legs in playing shape which returning next week should help to happen. We need not worry about his timing or his swing; it’ll be there. This team will look shockingly different in the first playoff game than they will look on Friday; just get ready to cheer.