As a fan, it was encouraging to see the Braves finish up the first half strong. A sweep in Philadelphia. Winning 5 of the last 6 games. And just when they really needed it. Now a couple days off, before its back to the grind.
The Braves are looking to elevate the performance level of the pitching staff, in the 2nd half. Right now, these guys are #9 in the NL. So, that's got to change.
Looks like the plan is to have Hudson and Hanson lead the way. Give the ball to Jurrjens every 5th day and hope his revival continues. Continue to trot lefty Mike Minor out there. And go with Ben Sheets. Ben Sheets, uh? Wow. Talk about a revival. What a great story this would be, if it works out. And a big boost to the back end of this rotation.
Send Delgado to the bullpen. He can get a strikeout in the 7th or 8th inning. That move would strengthen that group. Tell Randall that his future is still in the rotation.
Venters is a big question mark. Got to figure the Braves will add a veteran reliever too, especially with Venters hurting right now.
The offensive attack is 4th in the NL in scoring. Not bad. Got to expect McCann and Uggla to step up with a strong 2nd half. Those guys can hit. Heyward and Freeman look good. Bourn and Prado up top. Chipper is swinging the bat and looks ready to go hard down the stretch. This line-up will score some runs the rest of the way.
Losing Simmons hurts. No doubt. He had busted onto the scene. Maybe Wilson and Pastornicky can hold it down for a month. That will be big.
Out of the gate, after the All-Star Game, the Braves play 17 of 20 against NL East competition. So, they need to hit the ground in a sprint. Let's go, guys. Time to make a run at the World Series!
Return to: Buck Belue Blog