NL East: Hot Starts Abruptly Cooled Off

Dee WilcoxAnalyst IApril 29, 2009

ATLANTA - APRIL 12: Detail view of bats and gloves of the Atlanta Braves are lined up before play against the Washington Nationals April 12, 2009 at Turner Field in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)

For the most part, the top teams in the National League East in the beginning of the season looked to be there to stay for the season, but it was quite the opposite. The Braves, Pirates, and Marlins all had the hottest starts in baseball.

Starting with the Bravos, winning five of their first six, then dropping five straight to Florida and Pittsburgh. Injuries and fatigue halted the braves hot start with key players Chipper Jones and Brian McCann seeing time on the bench due to injury and illness. Both players are back in the lineup alone with hot rookie Jordan Schafer, Jeff Francoeur, Kasey Kotchman, and ace pitcher Derek Lowe. Look for the Braves to be a fixture at the top of the NL race and you might see them rise back to the dominance as they are a custom to.

As For the Pirates and Marlins, they were each others poison. After the braves left town, the Bucos headed for Florida where they eventually swept the Marlins, but then later returned home to drop two out of three games. The same goes for these two teams as well, look for them to get their acts together and hang around the top of things and make things very interesting come October.

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