Atlanta Braves' 11: Impressive Streak Shows a Glimpse of What Team Can Do

Vinny Hardy@ IAugust 6, 2013

PHILADELPHIA, PA - AUGUST 04: Jason Heyward #22 of the Atlanta Braves gets congratulated by teammate Freddie Freeman #5 on scoring a run in the fourth inning against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park on August 4, 2013 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Drew Hallowell/Getty Images)
Drew Hallowell/Getty Images

The more things change for the Atlanta Braves, the more they stay the same. The first time the Braves rolled into D.C. to face the Washington Nationals, they made a statement.

They are attempting to do the same thing once again as they took Game 1 of the series by a 3-2 margin.

The difference between the win on Aug. 5 and the series sweep in early April is the offense. Speculation and visions abounded as to what the Braves were capable of then.

Now we have a pretty good idea. Things are coming together at the right time.

Atlanta's 11-game winning streak has been absolutely ridiculous. It's a collective effort on both sides of the ball.

The Braves have won every kind of way. There were multiple 11-run outbursts as they swept the Colorado Rockies.

There was the hard-fought 2-0 win over the St. Louis Cardinals on July 27, and of course the 3-2 win over Stephen Strasburg and Washington.

Jason Heyward has been doing good things out of the leadoff spot, and Freddie Freeman has been locked in all season long. 

Justin Upton is swinging a hot bat again, much like he did in April. Evan Gattis is playing like a seasoned veteran.

Andrelton Simmons has shown that he's clutch by notching game-winning and walk-off hits during this streak. His defense has been beyond impressive as well, as he routinely makes breathtaking plays seem normal.

If Dan Uggla and B. J. Upton hit for average a little bit down the stretch, the Braves will be trouble from top to bottom.

The bullpen has pulled its own weight too. 

David Carpenter, Scott Downs, Jordan Walden and every other guy have all come in and executed when Fredi Gonzalez has put them into the game.

However, as good as things have gone, it hasn't been all roses. The Braves have had to overcome injuries all season long, but guys have stepped up all season long, too.

Joey Terdoslavich, Todd Cunningham and Jose Constanza no doubt quickly come to mind. 

Atlanta's 13.5 game lead in the National League East allows them to to focus. They aren't relaxing or resting on any laurels. 

This was evident in their sweep of the Philadelphia Phillies, and it is apparent as they go for the knockout of the Nationals.

They can get themselves set up for the playoffs and be ready to do damage when they get there. They are young and hungry.

Scott Downs is old and hungry. Imagine how eager he is to make his first appearance in the playoffs and make meaningful pitches and get out of crucial jams.

It's right there for all of them if they stay the course through these dog days of summer.