The first series at SunTrust Park was an unquestioned success for the home team, as the Braves beat the Padres 9-2 on Sunday to remain undefeated at home with the series finale scheduled for Monday. Bartolo Colon only gave up one hit over seven innings of work, and although it took a while for the offense to come alive, once they did they battered San Diego’s pitching.
En-der is on fiiiiiiiiiiirrrrree! pic.twitter.com/lrB6cEoBKx— Atlanta Braves (@Braves) April 16, 2017
The Braves are currently on a four-game winning streak now, and it’s largely due to the fact that they’re mashing for power at the plate right now. Ender Inciarte has gotten off to a great start at the plate in SunTrust Park, and he’s part of what appears to be an encouraging trend for the Braves and their offensive firepower. Zach Dillard took a closer look at the trend as part of his Three Cuts column for Fox Sports South.
Still, even without Kemp in the lineup for this winning streak, the Braves have picked up on their strong finish in 2016 thanks in large part to finding occasional power. And not simply over-the-fence power; the team ranked around league average in extra-base hits despite its low-scoring road trip.
Atlanta entered Sunday’s game with worse offensive numbers across the board than it claimed in 2016, when the offense finished 29th in runs scored … except for those power numbers.
This past weekend is a prime example of the best-case scenario that the Braves front office had in mind when building this team — an entertaining mix of veterans and youngsters who can play a brand of baseball that brings fans to the park while not blocking any of the prime talent on the farm. It may not be a mix that makes them favorites for success in 2017, but Bradford Doolittle of ESPN believes that it’s evidence of Atlanta’s “master plan” finally starting to materialize into something.
Speaking of prime talent on the farm, Ozzie ALbies is perhaps the brightest prospect in the Braves’ war chest, and he’s gotten off to a great start with the G-Braves so far. The AJC gave a quick report on Albies’ hot start so far, and it’s a good sign as far as a potential call-up later this season is concerned.
The Gwinnett Braves second baseman, and the Braves’ No. 2-rated prospect, extended his hitting streak to eight games Friday night. In the last seven of those, Albies is hitting .355 (11-for-31). That streak has raised his average from .091 after two games to .286.
He has 12 hits this season, and five of them have gone for extra bases — four doubles and a triple. He also is 4-for-4 in stolen-base attempts.
The downside for Albies at the plate is that he has eight strikeouts (once every 5.25 at-bats) and one walk.
So, the Blue Jays are currently 2-10 after losing 11-4 to the Orioles on Sunday afternoon. Although you can’t make or miss the playoffs in April, the Canadian representatives of MLB are going to be facing a steep uphill climb after this awful start. The AL East is no joke, so they’re going to have to step things up or they’re going to be left behind very early this season.
While the Orioles picked up the win on Sunday, it wasn’t all sunshine and lollipops for the O’s. Super-reliever Zach Britton will be heading to the disabled list with what’s being described as “left forearm soreness.” That’s one of the last thigns that you want to hear about from a pitcher, much less one who has thrown as well out of the pen as Britton has done in recent times. The O’s are already a longshot to return to the Postseason, and they can’t afford to lose Britton for a significant amount of time.