You could say that I have been an average fan of the Atlanta Braves since I was about 8 years old. I grew up knowing that the Braves would be in the Post-Season every year. Come play-off time, I would be watching the Braves make a run for the World Series. We were the more consistent than the New York Yankees or the Boston Red Sox. The Braves were a team of greatness, the team of the 90's, they were America's Team. Those days have clearly came and gone, but I feel the team is headed in the right direction to return to greatness.
Will the New Atlanta Braves be able to win the NL east 11 years straight? Probably not. I doubt we will see any other team do that in our lifetime. However, with the push that the Braves have made late this season has showed me that they have what it takes to get back into the play-offs. It doesn't look like their late surge will get them into the post-season this year, but I think good things are in store for next season.
The Braves key to success next season will be their pitching. In my opinion, they may have the best starting rotation in the league. That is assuming they do what it takes to keep all of their talent and do anything silly like trade anyone away.
Just look at what some of the Braves pitchers have done this season with a less than great offense. Derrick Lowe has 15 wins with 107 strike outs. Although his ERA is high, we all know he is a consistent pitcher. Vazquez has also piled up 15 wins win an ERA of 2.87. Jurrijens has 14 wins with ERA of 2.61.... I could go on with more stats, but you can look those up. My point is we have the pitching! Now, we may have just enough offense to get the job done.. Or do we?
I feel that if the Braves are going to be the top dog in the NL east, all they need is just one BIG bat. Imagine if we still have big Tex this season. We would be a lock for the play-offs. We have consistent hitting with Escobar, McCann, & Jones. We also have made great additions with Church and McLouth. However, I think we are going to need a BIG bat if we are going to make some noise in what may be Bobby Cox's last season next year. Only time will tell.
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