Well, winning two out of the three first games against the division rival Washington Nationals will be considered a success for the Atlanta Braves. Dan Uggla hit the ball hard almost every time he went to the plate, Justin Upton got his average a little closer to .200 but most of all, the starting pitching was awesome.
In the series finale, Alex Wood showed the Braves that he was going to be able to pick up any slack the team has and improve his game through the season. For his second straight start, Wood went seven innings while only giving up four hits to the Nationals. Ian Desmond did hit what would turn out to be the game-winning run, but Wood held the Nationals’ offense to a 0.57 WHIP and held his season ERA at 1.93.
While he probably won’t be this good for an entire season, Wood is showing that he has the quality stuff to make him a No. 2 or No. 3 pitcher in this Braves rotation. Without one bad inning in each of the two starts he has had, he may have only given up 2-3 hits and possibly only the two runs that were due to home runs. His problem seems to come from the fact that he wants to get ahead of hitters and puts fastballs down the heart of the plate early in the count. When he does that, major league hitters are going to get hits and get any pitcher in a hole quickly.
If he continues on this stretch, the Braves are looking to have what will be a quite solid rotation that includes Julio Teheran, Mike Minor and Ervin Santana rounding out the top four in the rotation in no particular order. Pitching the way he has, he has a chance to make a name for himself toward the top of this rotation and MLB this season.