The 2014 Atlanta Braves came into the season with a plan of how their pitching rotation would look. Then Brandon Beachy and Kris Medlen were lost for the season with elbow injuries that required Tommy John surgery.
Spring training had barely begun the injury bug had bitten, check that, was gnawing on the Atlanta pitching staff.
Cory Gearrin would later join them with an elbow injury of his own. Craig Kimbrel’s arm situation isn’t serious right now but at this point you can’t help but hold your breath just a tad.
Something had to be done and it had to happen quickly. Ervin Santana and Aaron Harang were brought in to steady Atlanta’s reeling rotation. Now it’s early, the season isn’t even one tenth of the way complete. However, the Braves haven’t missed a beat. Ervin Santana, Julio Teheran, Aaron Harang and Alex Wood all rank in the top 25 in ERA which explains why they are second and rising in the MLB team ERA category.
For you youngsters who may be reading this, the just pitch baby is a play on the old Oakland Raiders from back in the day. Their one time coach and long time owner, the late great Al Davis, coined the phrase “Just Win Baby!”
The Raiders just won, they had a culture of winning just as the Braves have developed a culture of great pitching. The rotation doesn’t look like anyone thought it would but the results thus far look as they have for almost two and a half decades now.
They are also sending a statement to the N.L. East (5-1 vs. the Nationals) and the rest of the league letting them know that they aren’t going to lay down this season or go anywhere. The offensive firepower is there and when it isn’t the pitching staff will keep them in most every game. They are going to do what they always do, just pitch baby.