Finally, a ‘W’ in Florida. Smoltz is looking like the unstoppable pitcher of old. Smoltz is finally getting run support, which he didn’t get a lot of last season, and starting 3-0 has got to be a mental boost to Smoltz and the team alike. Not that Smoltz seems to ever have needed to much of a mental boost. Is the new approach to Spring Training that’s giving his arm new life? Has just been the lineups that he’s faced so far, as he told the AJC after Thursday night’s win? What ever it is, keep it coming.
Andruw comes back tonight. AJC.com had a poll about if people are planning to cheer for him. As of right now, 64% said they would cheer, 23% will boo, and 12% will be indifferent. 12% of Atlanta sports fans being indifferent? More like 112%. Ok, I kid, but sometimes it seems that way. Well, I still feel like booing is appropriate. Maybe cheer the first at bat, and then boo him until he retires.
More bad news for the Bravos on the injury front. The AJC is reporting that Peter Moylan is possibly facing season ending Tommy John surgery. Moylan has been a consistent and strong arm, and now new GM Frank Wren is facing one of his first in-season difficult decisions. Will Wren step up and deliver? Or will he just try to patch up the bullpen and hope that we can get by with some warming up bats and good starting pitching?
A few other notes:
-Chipper is up to .443. How are Smoltz and Chipper stepping their games up this much? Is it because they know this might be one of their last possible runs at a World Series?
-The Mets and the Phillies face off in Philadelphia tonight and start a three game series that will hopefully see them split, so the Bravos can make up a little ground on both teams.
Well, the 2008 season is officially underway, and it looks like the Braves roster might be battling the same old demons from last year. The fact that injuries have started to affect the starting rotation and that the bullpen seems to be very hit-or-miss (more “hit” recently, unfortunately by opposing teams) but these issues aren’t that shocking or even completely unexpected. What’s unexpected is how quickly things have started to unravel. True, the Braves are at least staying in games, and being out of first place in the East is just a matter of a couple one run games going the other way. But if we (and I’m of the variety of fans that refers to his or her team as a collective “we”) can’t put the lid on close games, then it looks like it’ll be a repeat of last year with us trying to make up games down the stretch, games that we should have won in the first place.