I hope it's not premature, but this *new* rotation is shaping up. Led by a finally recognizable Maddux, followed by a decent performance by the *unlikely* Shane Reynolds and topped off by a masterful seven inning performance by the *budding* star, Horacio Ramirez, it seem the Atlanta Braves are doing what they do best.
We all know who's gone, topped by Glavine and Millwood. Many of us screamed, me one of the loudest, "What have they done to *the* rotation? The cornerstone and the signature of the Atlanta Braves.
And yet from the most unlikely sources, *they're* doing it again. They've strung three powerful pitching performances in a row. Two from unexpected sources and one from a *sure* thing who has looked like *maybe* just maybe, it was all over for him.
So, quickly, before Shane takes the mound again, let's throw a quick kudo and a bandaid to JS. (After all, I did whack him on that pickup pretty hard) and enjoy the surprising 5 shutout innings (even with a little luck) that he gave us. I don't say it grudgingly. After all, aren't you supposed to have them hit it where somebody can field it? He kept it in the park, pitched through the raindrops and five shutout innings from a guy who hasn't really had the necessary conditioning *yet,* that's damn good.
So kudos to Reynolds and to JS on that pickup. Please, don't make me take it back.
Horacio, OTOH, looks like the *real* thing and except for one bad start, should be here to stay. Still holding my breath on Maddux, but sleep comes a lot easier now.
One more kudo to our closer, Smoltzie. He is making it an eight inning game. Have the lead, give him the ball and get the W. There is so much to be thankful for on that one, BESIDES the enormous lift of seeing at least *one* familiar face. I don't think another change would do anyone good. The face of the Braves has changed more than enough this year.
So, we're streaking in more ways than one. Three in a row. OTOH, the offense has been *streaky* as usual. Getting enough men on, but leaving too many stranded.
Do we need a little more small ball or would more extra base hits be the answer? Time will tell.
So far, no whacks for Cox, surprising for me. IMO, Horacio should have been given the chance to start the eighth. He did, couldn't make it and Cox came out of the dugout at the right time.
So, things look better. Actually, the faces may be different, but the Atlanta Braves look the same. Hard to believe that you can put anyone in a Brave uniform, stand him on the mound and get good performances, but the last three games, rabbits have been coming out of the hats. WE'LL TAKE THEM.....
To be continued.
Bravejo Write to me at email@example.com (I'm always listening)
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Hardball Scoop3:32 PM