Archive for August, 2022

202: Rounding Third and Heading for Home

by Gil in Mechanicsville

The Braves have completed 75% of the regular season at this posting and currently stand 3 1/2 games behind the first place Mets. While is appears the Atlanta nine are comfortable ahead in the Wild Card, more is at stake besides bragging rights and a spot in the play-offs. A first round bye is a huge advantage in the pursuit of a year’s spot in the World Series. Being able to get a little extra rest for your starting rotation plus being able to align the starters to an advantages position along with the elimination of “travel days” means a team will be less able to rely on just two front line starters.

The Braves have been blessed by the addition of Mike Harris II performing to a high level. Since his insertion in the line up as the everyday centerfielder, the Braves have turned their season around. It goes to show that talent has a way of rising to the top. Of course while the loss of Adam Duvall had negative effect on the Braves offense, they have been able to overcome that loss with balance up and down the line up. Seldom have we seen a line up that equally distributes both speed and power as well and pline baseball smart throughout the batting order.

With Ronald Acuna Jr. returning to his pre injury prowess and Dansby Swanson hitting like the season veteran he is, the loss of Ozzie Albies is less devastating than it might otherwise have been. Not saying he hasn’t been missed but the Braves are balanced enough that even without him in the everyday lineup, players like Arcia and newcomer Vaughn Grissom have made his absence much less acute.

It now appears Ozzie will soon be back with the club leading to the good problem of what to do with Grissom upon Albies return. I suspect the problem won’t be too burdensome with the ability to expand the roster in September. Austin Riley continues on his MVP trajectory this season with gold glove defense and Judgian power, likewise, Matt Olsen’s homeruns and clutch hitting has made the loss of fan favorite Freddie Freeman much less traumatic than it could have been.

Travis d’Arnaud sharing time with finally arrived William Contras has given the Braves a prodigious and steady presence behind the plate as well as a hitting tandem unequaled at the bat. Eddie Rosario has returned to his 2021 level of play following eye surgery. He has become a solid outfielder and lefty hitter in a right handed heavy batting order. New addition Robbie Grossman looks to have regained his 2019 form as a switch hitter with the sharp eye Kevin Seitzer spotting a flaw in his left handed approach.

Top to bottom this year’s team looks even more talented than last season’s World Series champs. Now if the can just continue to put pressure on the Mets in pursuit of first place in the NL East, the 2022 Braves might just pull off a repeat as World Series winners.


%d bloggers like this: