Let’s Play Ball…A Study in Contrasts

I know yesterday was 1 of 162 games…but I can already tell a huge difference between this year’s Braves and last year’s Braves. This game had something that was missing most of last year…dramatics. See last year if Kelly Johnson  dropped a pop fly that should have been caught, the flood gates spring open. The Braves suddenly forgetting how to get outs face a 4-5 run deficit instead of just one. If last year’s bullpen came jogging out from the ‘pen yesterday in the same situation Mike Gonzalez faced, second and third and no outs…3 runs score or more…hands down no doubt. Especially with Ryan Howard and Chase Utley coming up, one of them would have taken the Junker deep. Not this year, Gonzalez mows down Victorino and Howard, then gets Utley to ground out to Renteria…inning over meltdown no where to be found. Same thing would have happened in the ninth.

This year’s team is different though…the big meltdown inning never happened. We were never down more than one run. Leaving the chance for Edgar to do what he did with Myers’ middle of the plate fastball. In turn setting himself up for Ryan Madson’s middle of the plate fastball to win the game. These are the situations last year’s team lacked…a chance. A bad inning like the 6th…was only a tremor instead of the mega-quake.

I am excited. I have been since we got Soriano from Seattle and only gave up Horacio Ramirez. I became ecstatic when we got Gonzalez for LaRoche. I wasn’t going to let his second half last year replace the fact that I was ready to let him go at the beginning of the previous two seasons. Then the team "sold" bringing with it a new hope. We locked up McCann for the better part of his CATCHING career. He turned around and repaid us by going 3 for 4 with a 2-run HR, a 2B and a single. This guy is for real. Batting title and a starting All-Star game catcher…This year…no doubt.

I already feel this season being another one of those where we are in the driver seat with the rest of the East trying to chase us down.



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