The Braves look to be on the right track with their performances in spring training so far.
Saturday's 6-4 win over the Mets flirted with a no-no for five innings. Derek Lowe looked on the right track with an outstanding outing.
Chipper Jones looked to be on the right track as well with a key homer in the game and suffering no knee pain at all.
For five innings on Saturday, the Braves looked to be working on a spring training gem of a game. Lowe held the Mets hitless over three scoreless innings and also delivered a third-inning leadoff double that helped put him in position to score on a Joe Mather groundout.
Lowe, Scott Proctor and Cory Gearrin held the Mets hitless through the first five innings. The no-no did not last, but Lowe still had an excellent outing, and the two other pitchers looked really good for the Braves.
Chipper, who was playing in just his sixth game on Saturday since returning from knee repair surgery, smashed a two-out homer into the Braves bullpen beyond the left field wall. Jones was playing without pain and looked as if he felt great at the plate and on the field. This is the kind of thing the Braves had hoped to see this spring training, and Jones showed that his knee surely looks sound after the repair.
Sunday's game versus the Washington Nationals had the Braves winning 5-0. It also had an excellent showing from pitcher Tommy Hanson, who went three scoreless and hitless innings. Braves pitching prospect Cristhian Martinez came in and delivered two innings of scoreless ball that included five strikeouts. Chipper once again played third base and performed very well both on the field and at the plate.
At this point in time, the Braves are on top of the spring training standings for Cactus League teams with a 7-3 record so far. Of course, last year, they came out of a scorching spring training only to perform at a lower level to start the regular season.
Still, there are many great things to be taken from spring training games like these. Lowe looked great. Chipper is playing great. Hanson looked great. The Braves are putting up runs. All in all, a great spring training so far for the Braves.
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