The Braves Report: All-Star Break

jesse pageContributor IJuly 16, 2009

DENVER - JULY 12:  Ryan Church #25 of the Atlanta Braves takes an at bat against the Colorado Rockies during MLB action at Coors Field on July 12, 2009 in Denver, Colorado. The Rockies defeated the Braves 8-7.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

The only thing consistent about Atlanta Braves baseball this year has been their starting pitching and in some parts of their bullpen. Of course the same thing can not be said for the offense which has been just as bipolar as pop-star Britney Spears.

In 88 games the Braves have hit .261 which is better than half the National League, but here comes the bi polar part, they've hit only 68 home runs, third worst in the NL. Also the Bravos have only scored 373 times with just a .332 OBP.

But things could be looking up in the ATL. Miraculously they are still in the division race and were on a roll before the All-Star break. It seems as if the Braves' comatose bats are starting to awake from their slumber.

The demotion of second basemen Kelly Johnson and the trade of right fielder Jeff Francoeur for Ryan church, have opened up a spot to start in the roster for Martin Prado who is on fire hitting .330 in 63 games with 62 hits and 19 two baggers.

His addition to the lineup isn't the only spark that's helped the Bravos in recent weeks. Nate McLouth had hit in nine straight games until the second game of the Rockies series on July 10, and  the acquisition of Ryan church is undoubtedly an improvement over Frenchy.

If the Braves' bats can stay alive, and they team can stay healthy, I expect for them to catch Philly or at least take the Wild Card.