By David Miller @DavidMillerRant on May 26, 2014
Lately the Atlanta Braves have been one of the toughest teams in MLB. While they haven't won every single game in the last week plus, they have won six of their last eight game while distancing themselves from the pack a little in the National League East. What are the biggest reasons for this? Take a look at these choices for the biggest five reasons for the Braves resurgence.
It might seem like a small thing but Gerald Laird has referred to the walk that Jordan Schafer took against Trevor Rosenthal and the St. Louis Cardinals as an at-bat that might be the biggest at-bat for the team all season long. This walk tied the game that the Braves won on a wild pitch and a shut down inning by Craig Kimbrel.
While Evan Gattis battled a viral problem this past week, all Gerald Laird did was come through with a few huge RBI base hits when the team badly needed them. Laird is a very big part of this team right now and clearly a great choice to keep on board as a back-up catcher.
Even the greatest comebacks wouldn't matter if this man didn't come out of the bullpen and shut it down. He has hit his stride just at the right time for the team and battled through a tiny bit of fastball command issues in the process. Tiny is the key word there. He is the best closer in the game.
Most of the hot streak this has included Jason Heyward and B.J. Upton. You might shake your head at that but the graphic shown before the game on Sunday listed the Braves as having the best performing top two in the batting order over the last week plus. Upton only struck out once over that stretch and Heyward – who has struggled every bit as anyone this year – is starting to come out of it as well.
If there were any questions why the Braves traded a former top draft pick for this guy to be third catcher, those questions were answered this week. He came through with two huge hits; one of them being a game winner. Without a doubt he is the new version of last season's Evan Gattis from the bench.
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