By Matt Berliner
The Braves may have started the season 0-2, but the faithful will remain. The march will go on. Don't forget that there are still 160 games left. You may have heard the famous cliche' that every team wins 54 and loses 54...it's the games in between that really determine your status in the race. These two games would have looked nicer in the win column, but we have to move on.
What the Braves have shown me so far....
Tim Hudson was dynamite on Sunday. Take away his error in the 1st inning of course and we win the game. He couldn't have looked better after that, retiring the next 24 batters in a row. Tom Glavine looked serviceable. He did at least what was expected of him. Limit the damage, go at least 5 or 6. I'm happy with his performance, though we all look for him to go deeper. You know he's going to have some good games, and a few bad ones. It's inevitable.
Let's get out of the way that they started a little slow in Washington and ran the bases very badly.....and that Pittsburgh gave them more chances that you could shake a stick at...but the Braves have shown that they can and WILL take advantage of those situations. We have the lumber to take control of these games.
Needs work. One of the 5 best in the NL last year, the Braves can't blame it on opening day jitters anymore. I don't think this will be much of a problem. You have to remember also that Kelly Johnson is still learning second base. Watch out for Prado though....he can defend...and as soon as everyone is more confident in his offensive contributions...Kelly could be forced to share time at that position.
It's still early, but they looked HORRIBLE. I felt after Glavine left that Bobby Cox was playing the rest of this game like a spring training game. I didn't understand why we were using so many pitchers from innings 6 to 8. Anyway...a lot of situational pitching was going on...match up to match up....and by the 9th inning Cox has to ration them. We have a great bullpen...I think these guys just need to learn their roles and get into a groove. I look for this to improve.
Don't panic. We shouldn't be too concerned right now. Let's see how the rest of the week plays out. Let's get excited about Jurjjens and Hampton....and for that Mets series this weekend.