That’s right the Atlanta Braves that started the season 0-4, then 5-0, and then…Simply put, the Braves are streakers. Prior to Atlanta new three game win streak, they lost six of seven and went 20 scoreless innings. These streaks are enough to turn your hair gray (at least that is the excuse I am using).
This team has been praised for having one of the best clubhouses, but there are times that make one wonder if they understand the team concept. The Braves are now getting production in unlikely places such as, “you are here for your glove, yet you are providing as much offense as those paid for their bat” Andrelton Simmons. The rookie has taken on a role of a team leader, and he has been up all of a month. What is concerning and why I question the team concept is that cohesive teams have players that step up and compensate for slumping players. What we have seen about Atlanta is what one of them does, they all do. Great for unity or in a bench clearing brawl, but not so great if they all decide to stop hitting when one of your star pitchers goes in for Tommy John or your old reliable bullpen gives up twelve runs. Just ask Frank the Tank, “everyone is doing it” does not fly as a legit excuse.
Having said all this, I am extremely encouraged by Jair Jurrjens performance in Boston. JJ’s first start back from a month in the minors happened to be in Fenway Park only because Brandon Beachy spent Thursday with Dr James Andrews. Jurrjens did not exactly light it up in AAA, but the Braves called him up out of necessity. His 7.2 innings of one run, three hit baseball left manager Fredi Gonzalez thinking it was easier to pitch in the big leagues than AAA, as he told reporters post game.
Jason Heyward is also on fire showing us the JHey kid from his rookie season, and right now, things are looking up. I still can’t help but hear my grandmother Joey say, “Just because other people are idiots, doesn’t mean you have to act like a fool!” (A little harsher take on “if your friends jumped off a bridge”, but still the same point!) Someone has to step up, carry the load in the lean times, and keep everyone in line. Boys, I highly recommend one of you takes Josephine’s role in the dugout. If not you may just make her come done here, and I promise you, as she promised me, you will not like it if she has to straighten you up! Her old school is not nearly as comical as Will Ferrell’s.