Atlanta Braves Beat Reporter
The 2013 Atlanta Braves have shot off to a quick start and an impressive 12-2 record. This impressive start puts them squarely in 1st place in the NL East. Left-handed pitcher Paul Maholm has well outperformed his $6.5 million contract, and Justin Upton has been superb as he continues to put up stats worthy of MVP contention, leading the NL with 8 home runs to go along with his .852 SLG percentage.
The Braves started their season 11-1 before their loss against the Kansas City Royals ( L 1-0). This incredible start only parallels the 1994 Braves team, who finished their season just behind the Montreal Expos in the NL standings. The Braves have had great offense, generating 6 or more runs in 7 of their 14 games of the season.
It's a little early, but the trade the Braves made with the Arizona Diamondbacks trade, which sent Randall Delgado and Martin Prado off in return for Justin Upton, and Chris Johnson seems to be paying off. Upton has his stats boisterously proving his value, but in the background Johnson is just as well proving himself valuable for the franchise. Johnson leads the Braves this season with a batting average of .409 thus far, along with 1 home run and an on base percentage of .435.
This past week the Braves have played the Washington Nationals and the Kansas City Royals twice. In the second of two games against the Royals, Wade Davis pitched 7 scoreless innings and 7 strikeouts as he and his teammates stopped the Braves’ win streak at 10 in a row. Royals shortstop, Alcides Escobar brought in the only run for Kansas City to win the game, 1-0. That loss to the Royals was only the Braves second home loss of the season.
Atlanta plays the Pittsburgh Pirates at PNC Park Thursday at 7:05 PM, and look to start another winning streak, while stitching up the minor holes in their offense that seemed to be evident in the game against the Royals.
The Brave men of Atlanta have been a perfect 6-0 on the road this season, so look for a 4-0 sweep of the Braves- Pirates four-game clip from Thursday till Sunday this week at beautiful PNC Park in Pittsburgh.