Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Braves Notes: Week One

Bullpen Disaster It's hard to imagine better results for the Braves for the week of the season, but there's never any excuse for a bullpen to blow a 10-3 lead. The final game of the Phillies series was excruciating. Four bases loaded walks in one inning? I felt especially bad for Peter Moylan. To have to go through that experience in your first game since surgery ... OUCH. He looked like he was crying when Bobby came out to the mound to yank him. On the Other Hand The bullpen performed exactly as expected in the second game against the Nats. A scoreless 7th from Moylan (which brought his ERA down from infinity to 45.00), a scoreless 8th from Rafael Soriano (after giving up a lead off double) and a scoreless 9th from Mike Gonzales (who it appears was straightened out by Yunel Escobar after his first few pitches). That's what the Braves are expecting this season, and that's what the Braves need to win. The starting pitching is good enough that if these three guys can close the door night after night, I think we'll win the division. Meanwhile in Gwinnett In his first start of the season for Gwinnett, Tommy Hanson looked every bit the ace he's projected to be. He pitched 4.1 innings and didn't give up a run. How dominating was he? Of the 13 outs he recorded, 10 were strikeouts. I expect we will see him in the big leagues sooner rather than later, especially if Glavine is done. With any luck, he and Jordan Schafer will battle for the National League Rookie of the Year award.

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