So the Atlanta Journal-Constitution was going ga-ga over the 3-0 start the Braves had coming in to tonight’s game; it was the first time, you know, that they hadn’t lost a game in the first three outings since 1994.
Terrence Moore, the AJC columnist, was already declaring the Braves as the team to beat in the NL East after the first game, and then, today’s print edition of the AJC had a very poignant headline to a story by, who else, David O’Brien:
But go ahead and try to find that same headline on ajc.com now, when the Mets just won 11-1 on a horrendous night by starter Mark Redman (5+ IP, 5 ER). Oh right, but according to Moore, if the anybody has to beat the Mets, they have to do it with pitching:
When you consider everything, ranging from manager Tony LaRussa still fresh from a DUI arrest to maybe the worst starting pitching rotation ever for a defending world champion, the St. Louis Cardinals are a mess. That’s why the New York Mets spent the first week of this season exploding to the top of the National League East.
Well, that’s part of the reason. Despite the Mets ranking among baseball’s most overrated teams every year, they actually are more than hype this time.
What this means for the Braves is that the perennially aching Mike Hampton has to stay healthy. It means John Smoltz and Tim Hudson can’t stop resembling their vintage selves. It means Chuck James, Mark Redman, Lance Cormier and whoever else fills out the Braves’ pitching rotation must have more solid starts than sorry ones. It means the revamped bullpen has to continue looking potent.
So, again, what did Redman do? Allow 5; what did the bullpen do? Allow another 6. But let’s hope Smoltzy can stop the bleeding tomorrow. I’ll be there; and I’m thinking that’s not going to be the case.
It’s going to be one long year, Braves fans.