Continuing the midseason review series, here is Bob Bamber (@BravesInTheUK) on a fantastic season so far for the Braves.
How has the season gone so far?
A year earlier than scheduled, the Braves are actually good. Possibly division-winning good. It’s an exciting time to be a fan, with the feeling that even if this year does prove to be a bit early, the Braves are shaping up to be a team that could compete for a long time yet. With the Nationals faltering and nobody really being sure what the Phillies are up to, there’s a real opportunity for the Braves to win their division for the first time since 2005. The scary thing for other teams: the fruits of the Braves rebuild haven’t really started to show… yet.
Stars and flops
It’d be hard to point at anyone as having flopped. If anything, a concern has been at how well production has been coming from all areas. Some obvious: Freddie Freeman having an MVP season, some pleasantly surprising: Nick Markakis having a career-year, Ozzie Albies hitting like an all-star and Sean Newcomb turning into a proper top of the rotation starter. Nothing has been perfect mind – Ender Inciarte hasn’t been the .300 hitter he was a year ago, the bullpen has been up and down (then again, isn’t that true of every team), and this does not look like a starting rotation that could hold up in any kind of post-season situation. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Oh, and Ronald Acuña Jr.
He’d taken a lot of flak from fans believing he should’ve been traded before the season, but I’m going to go back to opening day (as I was watching live at something silly like 2am). After being well down against the Phillies, the Braves fought back to a tied game before Nick Markakis deposited a walk-off home run over right-center. It’s an exciting time to be a Braves fan, and this moment encapsulated that.
Revised W/L Total
85-77. Boy, who might’ve called something like that at the start of the year?