Four down, 158 to go for the undefeated Braves

Shockin' the world, joltin' the Mets. (AP Photo/Kevin Liles)

Shockin’ the world, joltin’ the Mets. (AP Photo/Kevin Liles)

Shockin' the world, joltin' the Mets. (AP Photo/Kevin Liles)

Shockin’ the world, joltin’ the Mets. (AP Photo/Kevin Liles)

The Atlanta Braves are 4-0. Yes, the Atlanta Braves. No, I didn’t expect it. But they’re playing good baseball. Credit where it’s due.

Victory No. 4 came Friday night against the New York Mets, who aided and abetted. Two Wilmer Flores errors led to two unearned Braves runs, which is why the game was tied at 3 in the eighth, which is where the Mets decided they’d played long enough — the Braves’ home opener commenced after a 69-minute rain delay — and essentially punted.

With Jace Peterson on second base — he’d pinch-run for Chris Johnson, who’d doubled in front of center fielder Juan Lagares– and one out, Andrelton Simmons chopped a ball to third baseman David Wright, who’s the Mets’ captain and best player. For reasons unknown, Wright chose to try and tag Peterson heading to third rather than throw to first to retire the runner.

The Mets wound up getting nobody and not covering second. Simmons kept running and wound up in scoring position on an odd play that was, oddly enough, scored a two-base fielder’s choice. (Seen one of those lately?) After Alberto Callaspo was walked and Cameron Maybin whiffed, Phil Gosselin rapped a full-count single to center to make it 5-3.

The Braves’ bullpen was again lockdown: Five relievers, four innings, two baserunners, no runs. Starter Eric Stults was handed a 3-nil lead and couldn’t hold it, but he kept his team afloat by inducing two double plays after the Mets had scored three runs on two pitches. (Wright and John Mayberry Jr. hit back-to-back homers.)

Ergo, 4-0. It’s early, but there are four fewer games to play than when the week began, and the Braves haven’t lost yet. Yes, I’m surprised. And more than a bit impressed.

From myajc: The new Braves — unassuming but unbeaten.

Reader Comments 0

79 comments
DrPhill
DrPhill

Not so fast, my friend.

KeepinItSimple
KeepinItSimple

Sadly, the Braves lost today because their front office was unwilling to part with Juan Jaime.  He has absolutely no business pitching in the major leagues, but because he was out of options we kept him on the roster.  The first tight game he is in, he fails miserably.  


While it's hard to blame Freddi for the fact this guy is on the roster, I would state that Freddi should stand firm and make a point by never pitching him in a game.  Just tell upper management that they are forcing him to tear up the other arms by keeping this guy on the team.  

It has to really suck for the rest of the team to play as hard as they have been plying only to see one guy who refuses to learn how to throw strikes blow it up for them.  One might think I am overreacting, but I stated a week ago he had no business making this roster and voila.

swimfin2
swimfin2

Yes MB you didn't expect it because you didn't use any logic. They were second from last place last year in MLB in runs scored. Why would you not expect getting rid of many of these strikeout kings not lead to more runs? I said over and over that I think they will be better than last year. Amazing how so many ignored something as simple as runs scored to deduce what would happen this year. 

HotDawg
HotDawg

Pierzynski isn't playing nice. 

Wouldn't let Freeman give him a hug after homerun the other night.

Don't dis the Huggy Bear.

HotDawg
HotDawg

Watch out 1982 Braves....2015 version going after that 13-0 record.


Birdhair
Birdhair

Mark Bradley says he's skeptical after the Braves' 5-0 start. Mark Bradley is the same writer who wrote "500 words in defense of frank wren" and backed the failing idiot until the very end. Mark Bradley perpetuates mediocrity. Mark Bradley has zero credibility. Bradley, it's time to ride off into the sunset. Nobody takes you seriously anymore. 

PalmBeachFalcon
PalmBeachFalcon

I can't find any info on the G-Day Spring game.  When is it?

TreeRollins
TreeRollins

John Hart took every chance in the world - looking like a genius about now!

TreeRollins
TreeRollins

Might work - I hope so. It was clear Wren was a problem and the Braves dealt with it. Same went for the Falcons so they fire the coach instead. If he is the next Coach Bud, Falcons will be proven right.

TreeRollins
TreeRollins

The Falcons and their arrogant front office and owner could take some lessons from the Braves and Hawks (and get a new GM)!

DawgVoiceofReason
DawgVoiceofReason

@TreeRollins Well, they did bring in what appears to be an excellent coach.  I agree that Dimitroff should have been let go but let's see how things progress under Coach Quinn.

TreeRollins
TreeRollins

John Hart beginning to look like a genius here. It's unbelievable 5-0. Even though I liked him getting rid of the malcontents, I was even skeptical about the talent. The new locker room has a greatly improved attitude and apparently that makes a huge difference. The Uptons are going to kill San Diego. Heyward had to get away from them for his attitude to improve as well.

Frank Wren had no clue about team chemistry!

DawgVoiceofReason
DawgVoiceofReason

@TreeRollins And no clue about baseball talent either.  Although, to be fair, the complete and total collapse of two former successful hitters was not predicted by anyone, that I know of.

BravesFanForever
BravesFanForever

@DawgVoiceofReason @TreeRollins 

That's because most people hope for the best. I'm glad they broke up the players since any team that folds like that says a lot about personalities. Now they appear to have a very positive and hungry group who refuses to lose. Hopefully that drive will at least translate into a .500 record. 

DawgDadII
DawgDadII

The Braves are playing very well - don't complain, enjoy the games. Observations:

1. The top three in the rotation are a rare blessing, and Teheran may well be the "ace" many are clamoring for.

2. The rebuilt bullpen has been untouched. We'll see if the reclamation projects hold up.

3. The overall team defense has been improved, though I'm still skeptical about EY in center. Maybin should help a lot.

4. There are only three everyday players in the lineup. The soft platooning will keep players competing for playing time, plays to the strengths of some very limited skills, and makes the bench stronger.

5. The bench has been a MAJOR upgrade over last year. The team got virtually nothing off the bench other than Gosselin last year.

6. There is hope some arms and a player or two may emerge from the minor league system as the year progresses.

7. There SHOULD BE some bucks in the vault for a strategic addition or two if the team remains in contention.


Am I skeptical? Gomes/KJ, EY/Maybin, CJ/Callaspo, Bethancourt/Pierzynski, Peterson/Gosselin don't exactly blow your socks off on paper, but the 69 Mets pulled this off, maybe the 15 Braves can, too. Weren't the 14 Braves a "miracle" team (for those who can remember)?

DawgVoiceofReason
DawgVoiceofReason

@DawgDadII I don't think there's anyone left alive who can "remember" the 1914 miracle Braves.  The 2014 Braves were a different kind of miracle, with a complete collapse.

HotDawg
HotDawg

The power of the comment.....headline changes from originally 156 to the correct 158. 

You're welcome.


GloryBetweenTheHedges
GloryBetweenTheHedges

It's fine if some of you want to get excited over the 4-0 start. Everybody is still fresh and pumped up. What about when June and July hit? Is this roster really going to hold up through a grueling 162 game season? Grilli is 38 years old and has already been used 3 out of the first 4 games of the season. I could even see him a little tired last night but did a good job pitching through it. This team is not built to blow you out and will rely on a strong durable bullpen that will have to hold up through a long season. Yes they are starting better than I could have imagined, but will they punch themselves out in the first month of the season?

GetBackJojo
GetBackJojo

Way to bowl over that catcher for the score Simba. O.K. on to game five.


GO BRAVES !!!

mdet
mdet

Roger McDowell is the best non-player asset MLB!


How much is he getting paid?

John Reid
John Reid

The best part of all is that the Braves got a TWO OUT HIT WITH RISP! Sorry for the caps, I just can't remember the last time I saw an Atlanta Braves team actually do that, and it's already happened twice this year. Roger McDowell isn't getting paid enough for the marvelous work he's doing with the bullpen, and just keep the hustle going Braves!

MannyIcey
MannyIcey

I'm a nay-sayer. This is a good start, but there are 158 games to go. And I've seen a sweep of the Marlins and they beat the Mets. But I'm going to hold off on my crow dinner until I see them beat up on the Cardinals. Or the Reds. Or the Giants. Or the Nationals. In short, if we're in first place by this time in July, I will take back my words. But 4 games into the season? Nah.

TampGator1
TampGator1

@MannyIcey 

But I am sure you would be expressing a lot more if they were 0-4 right now. 

mdet
mdet

@MannyIcey  The Braves swept a good team in the Marlins on the road. Its time to be as happy as you can be after 4 games.

GetBackJojo
GetBackJojo

@MannyIcey You really can't argue with this start. It is what it is, and bring on the gnats. I'm not saying they will win all their games, that's just stupid to think they will, but what a great way to start the season.


GO BRAVES !!!

BravesFanForever
BravesFanForever

@MannyIcey I don't think anyone is expecting this team to win anything except maybe AT MOST a .500 record. It's just nice to see them winning when the skeptics said they wouldn't. They won't win a ton of games, but it's fun to watch this new dynamic team work together and it's nice to see these hungry attitudes...  Enjoy it while you can people. I can see a nice 9 game losing streak somewhere in the season (and lots of other winning streaks too).

GWJ0525
GWJ0525

I was confused about one thing. Unless my memory is gone, I thought the Braves moved to Atlanta beginning with the 1966 season which would be 49 years and 50 would be next year, but it is all good, we can celebrate 50 again next year.

Jetiredo
Jetiredo

Its a marketing ploy they use the 50th season to sell merchandise then next season they can sell 50th anniversary merchandise

TampGator1
TampGator1

@GWJ0525 


The Braves committed to moving to Atlanta in 1965 and actually played some exhibition games in the old stadium in 1965.  Tommie Aaron was the first Brave to hit a home fun in the old stadium in one of those games.  So, officially, the Braves have been playing in Atlanta since 1965. 

30yrAtlBravesFan
30yrAtlBravesFan

@GWJ0525 It does mark 20 years since they have won a world series though. Hart has built this team relying on heart to win games. Im surprised, but when the odds are stacked so much against you. The only thing you have is heart & a desire to do whatever it takes to win as much as you can. One game at a time, who knows when they will lose when play like every pitch counts.

pbond3
pbond3

@TampGator1 @GWJ0525 

 No math majors in this bunch lol it has nothing to do with 1965. Starting in 1966, the 2015 season is definitely the 50th year the Braves have played in Atlanta. Subtract 1966 from 2015 and you get 49, but that means you have also subtracted the 1966 season, so you have to add 1 to 49.

Cmon guys  lol

TampGator1
TampGator1

@pbond3 


He was inferring that the Atlanta Braves have not been in Atlanta 50 years as on Friday night, which is correct. I was inferring that the Braves actually have played baseball games in Atlanta for 50 years already since they played exhibition games in 1965 at the old stadium.  So, actually, he is mathematically correct.  I am mathematically correct.  And you are mathematically correct.  But, technically, the Braves have only played as the Atlanta Braves in Atlanta for 49 years and one day.  But, factually, the Braves were celebrating the beginning of their 50th year in Atlanta.  So, I guess none of us are technically, mathematically, or factually incorrect.  Just different perspectives on all three.    

Jetiredo
Jetiredo

Its just 4 games heck teams can have hot 3 month starts like the Brewer's did last year and still fizzle out. I'm a Braves fan but I'm just being realistic this team has heart but I still can't see it lasting over 162 games.

TampGator1
TampGator1

@Jetiredo 


I don't believe anyone believes the Braves are going to win the division much less any championships.  But I think everyone is simply enjoying the exciting brand of baseball the club is playing right now and dreaming and wishing for it to last.  I think most of us realize it won't.  But baseball is fun to watch again in Atlanta, unless you prefer watching 15 to 16 strikeouts by the Braves players per game.

30yrAtlBravesFan
30yrAtlBravesFan

These guy's hustle! They look like & play like every game could be the 7th in the post season. Fun to watch &  capitalizing on other teams mistakes. Swag? This Braves team has alot of it. Fewer strikeouts, more hustle, more productive at bats, smart base running, great pitching & solid defence. Combined together like this. Who knows how far they can go? Im not looking months down the road where they can be. Just take one game at a time & wins will fall right into there pocket. GO BRAVES!!! 

Maggot_Man
Maggot_Man

"The naysayers who bashed Atlanta will be eating humble pie before the season ends."

Nah, they'll change monikers and return as a supporting fan.

Jetiredo
Jetiredo

Its still 4 games the Braves lost their 1st five games a few years back and made the playoffs. Let's wait and not heap huge expectations on this team yet and just enjoy the progression of the young players

Already_Older
Already_Older

While I agreed with John Hart that given last year, this team couldn't be any worse, I certainly didn't expect this!  I love the hustle more than anything.  Ok, fewer strikeouts is right up there also.  Even when Maybin did whiff after a good battle, Goslin picked him up.  

But what do I know... I didn't think it was a good idea to play Goslin over Peterson, but both players figured in the win perfectly.   Fredi is either a genius, been going to Church lately, or sold his soul to the devil ... lol.

Hammerman
Hammerman

This is a true team 1-25,everyone plays and contributes.Fredi has taken a lot of heat since Sept.2011,much of it well deserved,but every move he has made so far has been perfect.GO BRAVES!

TampGator1
TampGator1

I can see why Gonzalez was so impressed with Cody Martin this spring.  He mixes his pitches extremely well and the hitters seem to have no clue what is coming at them from pitch to pitch.  And the other kid is impressive out of the pen as well.  And Johnson looks like the Johnson who had 51 saves a few years ago for Baltimore.  And Grilli looks like 25 instead of 35.  Hope they both can hold up all year.  The Braves will not score a ton of runs, but they have solid pitching and play rock solid defense.  I believe they will remain competitive all year if the pitching holds its own as it is now.  Looking forward to see what McDowell has worked on with Cahill tonight.  Boy, it he can get that guys sinker working again, the Braves rotation will be rock solid an especially if Minor comes back strong.  Go Braves.  


And I can't believe the Simmons sequence last night.  That was amazing to watch.  Show a replay of a great play and he does the same thing in real time......against the same hitter.  Just amazing. 

TampGator1
TampGator1

@mikecg09 


Probably also to give McDowell for time to work with him to get his sinker working again.

mikecg09
mikecg09

Cahill is not going tonight. His start is being skipped and Teheran is pitching tonight. Cahill will pitch this week against Marlins.

hardworkinman
hardworkinman

Anyone can see that this year's team is head and shoulders above last year's. They put the ball in play. They catch the ball, they pitch well, and, most importantly, they hustle. There are no loafers on this team. A much more entertaining product on the field.

CouchPotato
CouchPotato

Oh the nay-sayers......  they are so depressed right now.  They have nothing to say!

RangeRover
RangeRover

@CouchPotato 

Great start, indeed a perfect star; but remember, 158 games left with Fredi Gonzalez as the manager.

But clearly this is a different team without the free-swinging hack brothers and either hot or ice cold Heyward.  And the entire clubhouse mentality is clearly better without them watching Chipper Jones jog to first base.

GetBackJojo
GetBackJojo

@NDTaylor77 They won't win every game, but what a start. My cup is now more that half full.

Buy there is still Fredi Gonzalez to mess every thing up.


GO BRAVES !!!

TampGator1
TampGator1

@RangeRover 


You mean the Chipper Jones that will soon be voted into the Hall of Fame on the first ballot and who played on double digit division title winning teams.  That Chipper Jones? Yeah.....he was such a bad influence on the Braves franchise. 

NDTaylor77
NDTaylor77

I certainly hope this team surprises everyone, but they've played 4 games. Let's not get carried away.