When Kris Medlen went down, the Atlanta Braves signed Ervin Santana to fill his role. Then Brandon Beachy had his second Tommy John surgery and all of baseball nation immediately began to doubt the Braves based off of the injuries to two of their top starting pitchers. With those injuries, the Braves were supposed to not even contend in the NL East race and scrap for a Wild Card berth in late September.
Fast forward to the first series of the 2014 season. The three starting pitchers (Julio Teheran, Alex Wood and Aaron Harang) gave up a total of three earned runs in their time against an offense that includes former PED suspendee Ryan Braun, NL MVP caliber playing Carlos Gomez and power hitting third baseman Aramis Ramirez.
The start of the season began with Teheran not having his best stuff on Opening Day and absolutely battling his tail off to give the team a quality start, going six innings and giving up only two earned runs. It was refreshing for Braves fans to see a familiar face on the mound for the special day. To see the grit that Teheran had to go out there inning after inning, hit after hit and battle to keep his team in the game when they really needed him was even better.
Wood, who is the key to the starting rotation early in the season, put together an absolutely beautiful performance, throwing seven innings and giving up only one earned run as he got plenty of run support from the team to get the first win of the season.
While two of the three of the pitchers are very young arms and aren’t used to being counted on as the two top dogs of the rotation, the biggest surprise was Harang, who threw a no-hitter over six innings and gave up only two hits in 6.2 innings to dominate the Milwaukee Brewers‘ lineup. It was almost like he forgot that he was a 36-year-old pitcher who was out of a job just a few weeks ago.
Those who believed that the Braves would struggle due to the injuries of two of their pitchers obviously haven’t seen, watched or heard about the way that Atlanta pitches well regardless of who is it that they throw out there. Therefore, it shouldn’t be a surprise that the Braves are pitching well and it shouldn’t be a surprise when the team pitches the whole season just as well as any other team in the league.
With the Braves’ pitching staff being a strength, they will be one of the best teams in the National League and can do some real damage in the playoffs, so be sure to get your Braves tickets today.