Braves over Cubs, again – is Chipper back?

I’ve been pretty absent here lately.  I’m finishing up my final semester at GSU, and sometimes I have focus on taking care of that stuff.  However, it is spring, which means that I’m following the Braves religiously.  The last few seasons I’ve started the season rather gung-ho, but lost steam around the all star-break.  I really like this team however, and I think they’ll keep my attention for a while.

Some random thoughts after today’s game:

  • John Smoltz isn’t bad as a broadcaster.  I really enjoyed getting some insight into the thought process of a world-class pitcher.  Don Sutton is a hall of fame pitcher, but maybe since I never saw him pitch he just sounded like another announcer to me.  When Jurrjens was struggling in the 5th, Smoltz said something along the lines of, “He’s not trusting his pitches.  You have to just focus on making the pitch, and let the pitch take care of the result.”  Rather Zen.  I liked it.  I still think he took ‘roids, but he’s a decent announcer.
  • When the Braves were down 2-1, I thought, “this might begin to tell us something about this team.”  I probably judge every Braves team against the 1991 team – there weren’t any world-class players on that team, but it was maybe the best team I’ve seen.  It was hard not to just love the chemistry and the grit.  For most of the 2000’s, I haven’t really felt the same connection with the players that I did in the early 90’s.  That started to change with guys like McCann, Prado, and Jurrjens coming up.  Young guys that grew up in the organization (yeah, yeah, we traded for Jurrjens in 2007, I know).  Last year the Braves were 27-25 in one-run games, which I think is telling.  They were 11-30 in 2008.  These Braves don’t quit.
  • If Chipper can keep this up all season we will be real tough to beat.  This lineup has the potential to be very, very tough on opposing pitchers.  If McLouth can get some production out of the 8-spot and Glaus can put up around 20 homers, pitchers don’t really get a break.  No automatic outs (ahem, Franceour).  Those are some pretty big ifs, of course.  I’d like to see more out of Cabrera, as well, but I don’t get the same bad feeling as I do about Glaus.  My gut feeling is that McLouth will do okay, but I’m not sure about Glaus.

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