The Atlanta Braves are playing good baseball right now. The only team who might be playing be playing better baseball these last two weeks would be the Chicago Cubs. Isn't it funny how these things always work themselves out?
After losing two out of three last weekend in Atlanta, the Braves will head to Chicago to face the Cubs in a four-game series. Not too much has changed on the field for the club -- other then the Cubs no longer having a lunatic pitching every five days -- though the team has "dismissed' their awful GM Jim Hendry. Let's take a look at their team:
Dan Uggla's Nemesis:
|2011 - Darwin Barney||110||413||55||122||17||5||2||36||16||46||7||2||.295||.330||.375|
Would Dan Uggla's hitting streak still be going if it wasn't for Darwin Barney's great catch in the series finale August 14? Maybe. He has certainly continued hitting well enough to continue it. Unfortunately for both Uggla and the Braves, he ended that streak.
Barney is a pesky young fellow. He may not hit for much power, steal many bases or make the highlight shows with flashy plays, but the guy hustles his butt off every game and is a pest to deal with in the plate. A guy who simply tries to put the ball in-play, the second baseman went 7-for-11 in his previous series against Atlanta and was all over the base paths. Keeping both he and Starlin Castro off the bases will go a long way in preventing runs to score.
Monday, 8:05EDT - Fox Sports South, PeachTree TV
|2011 - Jair Jurrjens||12-5||21||21||2||1||0||0||139.2||126||46||44||11||37||86||2.84||1.17|
|2011 - Ryan Dempster||10-8||27||26||0||0||0||0||154.1||156||82||79||16||56||147||4.61||1.37|
Tuesday, 8:05EDT - Fox Sports South, PeachTree TV
|2011 - Mike Minor||3-2||9||9||0||0||0||0||50.2||58||24||24||0||19||46||4.26||1.52|
|2011 - Casey Coleman||2-5||13||10||0||0||0||0||46.0||64||39||38||5||30||35||7.43||2.04|
Wednesday, 8:05EDT - Fox Sports South, PeachTree TV
|2011 - Derek Lowe||8-11||27||27||0||0||0||0||150.1||167||81||79||9||55||108||4.73||1.48|
|2011 - Randy Wells||4-4||16||16||0||0||0||0||89.1||104||59||58||18||34||56||5.84||1.54|
Thursday, 2:20EDT - SportSouth
|2011 - Brandon Beachy||6-2||19||19||0||0||0||0||108.1||94||43||40||14||32||120||3.32||1.16|
|2011 - Matt Garza||6-9||24||24||1||0||0||0||146.2||138||70||59||11||51||151||3.62||1.29|
The Cubs are pretty much out of the post-season races, but they are fighting for their pride and a chance to move up the standings before the season ends. They played the Braves tough in Atlanta and the team should expect no less in Chicago. The Braves should take three out of four, but a split would not surprise me. Chicago is playing good baseball right now.