Outlook for Braves: Atlanta needs to score more runs

By: John Hawkins We have just a few more days until the Atlanta Braves begin their quest for a World Series crown, so here are some things you may have missed this season: The…

Outlook for Braves: Atlanta needs to score more runs

By: John Hawkins

We have just a few more days until the Atlanta Braves begin their quest for a World Series crown, so here are some things you may have missed this season:

The game was a mess from the start and never got any better. We gave up five runs and nobody started the season hitting and if our starters get better, we will not be competitive. We have a ton of starting pitching and need to use it better. We do not have the bullpen to compete with the rest of the league in the postseason. Ryan just has no idea how to hit big league pitching. We have no Alex Kirilloff. We really do not know what is good about us in the preseason.

It’s easy to write off the opener, but you have to look at the bigger picture and look at the situation as it was and adjust to the adversity. We did just that.

Four games into the season, three of which we didn’t score a run, the team finally started to figure things out. Things fell into place to turn things around, and that’s the key to a successful season. We started to gain confidence and even though we only won two games, we finished 5-2.

For a team that went 73-89 last season, when they put together a three-game losing streak, then lose to a scuffling Milwaukee Brewers team, only to finish it out, that’s not very good.

Looking back at our season, we have grown as a group and as a team. I can’t remember a game where I felt as if my players looked lost, mentally or physically. Last year, it seemed like they didn’t want to play. This year, it seemed like they wanted to play every inning of every game.

It has always been my opinion that the key to winning baseball games is having a trusty bullpen. The bigger the lead, the tougher it is to swallow. Going down seven runs against the Dodgers, it’s kind of tough to swallow. You have to push ahead and eventually, you catch up and make a comeback.

It’s also great to see a young player get hot. I hope Emilio Bonifacio is at 100 percent, because if he is, we have another swingman option. He did his job to start the season. He stayed on his routine and came up clutch.

Overall, we have to score more runs. The Dodgers have some very good pitching, but they only scored nine runs in the three games. I know the Braves have struggled in the past with run scoring, but it is always great to see more runs on the board.

Besides scoring runs, we need to find another run producer to give some peace of mind to Paul Maholm. He has made us better, but we can always use a legitimate run producer to balance things out and take some pressure off of him. Those runs will come, but first we have to score more.

In today’s game, the pitcher usually gets away with allowing one run or maybe two in many instances. Even then, the team has to score more runs to win. Nobody is going to do it all on their own, and it’s going to take a team effort to win games.

That’s what makes great teams, great ball clubs. We will come together when it matters most and come out on top.

Game #11 is tonight against Milwaukee.

John Hawkins

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