Hinske, Conrad, Glaus Lead Braves To Sweep: Can the Offense Keep it Up?
Talk about a turnaround.
Just six games ago, the Braves were shut-out by the No. 2 man on the all-time homers allowed list.
Now, they find themselves dumping a high-powered Brewers attack out of a dust pan and into the trash after outscoring the Brew Crew by an unbelievable (keep in mind we're talking about the team ranked next-to-last in runs in the NL coming into this series) 21-run margin over three games.
The heroes of this series (outside of the usual suspects Jason Heyward, who returned to the line-up for game two of this series and went on to steal two bases, and Martin Prado, who hit a grand slam in game one) may be surprising, though.
Troy Glaus, Brooks Conrad, and Eric Hinske played out of their minds (the latter two in only the two final games).
Glaus went 5-for-13 (.385) with two homers, five RBIs, three runs scored, and also tacked on two walks.
Hinske, while manning what had been a massive left field hole for the Braves, went 3-for-6 (.500) with three doubles, four RBIs, and only one strikeout to two bases on balls.
Brooks went 4-for-9 (.444) with two homers (both off of Carlos Villanueva to right field), five RBIs, and some pretty slick fielding over at the hot corner.
Not bad for two guys that have been riding the pine all year, (though Hinske has shown all season that he has deserved better) and another that for the month of April was being called "washed up" by many in Braves Nation.
But, the question remains: can the Braves keep it up?
After all, they dazzled us with the bats in the opening series and have been putting up eight- nine- and ten-spots at various points over the course of the '10 campaign--what makes this series of gappers, drives, and lucky bloops any different?
Well, I'll tell you—it comes down to the personnel.
And with the group that was thrown out for the Milwaukee series, I really, honestly, believe that this is for real (knock on wood).
Add to that the fact that this line-up has been lacking two cogs in Yunel Escobar and Chipper Jones that have been vital to the team's success over the past few years, and this thing looks downright scary come their expected returns this Saturday (I'm referring to them being "in there" together—Chipper will be back sooner).
R 2B Martin Prado
L RF Jason "Manchild" Heyward
S 3B Chipper Jones
R 1B Troy Glaus
L C Brian McCann
L LF Eric Hinske
R SS Yunel Escobar (yeah, I believe the '09 Escobar is the real Escobar)
L CF Nate McLouth
With the performances in the month of May for those guys, there is plenty to support a Braves starting staff that only gave up three earned runs (Hanson with zero, Hudson with one, and Lowe, typically with the highest, with two) to the Brewers in this past series.
Now, there will be a hitch here and there (after all, this is baseball we're talking about), no doubt about it (and with Conrad swinging a big bat, I'd almost be willing to give him Jones' position for a while and stick with the Infante/McLouth-Prado-Heyward set-up...but we all know that's not going to happen).
But there is no way that this group can be as anemic as the Leche/Diaz-packed order we saw at the start of this most recent road trip (which the Braves managed to finish up 5-4 in spite of those awful orders).
I'm not going to call a 15-game win-streak for the Braves right now—not by a long shot.
But, I am going to call for some good success on the horizon (if that makes sense) since this team finally seems to be coming around.
See all you needed was a little...
What is the duplicate article?
Why is this article offensive?
Where is this article plagiarized from?
Why is this article poorly edited?