Atlanta Braves at Philadelphia Phillies: Live Open Thread!

Mar 11, 2014; Lake Buena Vista, FL, USA; Atlanta Braves left fielder Justin Upton (8) puts pine tar on his bat before playing the Philadelphia Phillies in a spring training exhibition game at Champion Stadium. Mandatory Credit: David Manning-USA TODAY Sports

The Atlanta Braves, put simply, took it to the Washington Nationals in the last series, sweeping them rather handily, and taking over first place in the NL East!  I’ll allow some degree of excuse from the Nationals based on the injuries to their offense, but their pitching, which was supposed to be superior to the Braves, certainly didn’t appear so in the Atlanta sweep!  The Braves had surprised everyone with their pitching, and while we knew it would be good, we didn’t know it would be great!  It has been!

The offense has also come alive for the Atlanta Braves, and while there are still a player or two in a slump, the bats are firecracker hot right now, with Freddie Freeman phenomenal as always, and the Upton Brothers - Justin Upton and B.J. Upton, currently making irate fans re-think their feelings!  We can only hope that trend continues tonight as the Braves are on the road, traveling to Citizen’s Bank Park in Philadelphia to take on division rival Philadelphia Phillies.  For several years in a row, the Phillies were considered to be the Braves’ arch NL East rival, but these days the Nationals are considered to be more of a rival.  Perhaps that’s still true for fans, but the Braves made a statement this past past series that they’re going to have to play much better to deserve any “arch” title.

The Philadelphia Phillies are getting back on track, slowly but surely, so the Braves and fans shouldn’t assume the next three days will be just a walk in the park (and a hitter’s park Citizen’s Bank is!) for Atlanta.  The great news is that Ervin Santana returns to the mound to open up the series in game 1, and unless you live under a rock, you know how absolutely amazing Santana was in his last outing!  If he can sustain just a decent percentage of that kind of command, the Braves should feel comfortable about the series opener.

As our own Brandon Woodworth previewed, we’ll see David Hale in game two, and Julio Teheran in game three.  Hale struggled in his last outing, but Teheran has been pretty good so far.

 

Join our Live Open Thread

Check out Brandon’s preview of the series, and then join us below tonight for our Live Open Thread of game 1 of the series!  As always, we’ll discuss all things Atlanta Braves, pros and cons, struggles and successes, rants and raves!  All our welcome, and all opinions are cherished, even if you are a troll! Well, sort of!  Go Braves!!!

 

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Tags: Atlanta Braves

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