The Atlanta Braves and Tim Hudson will vie for first place in the National League East when they face the Phillies, who have their ace Roy Halladay on the mound.
Hudson has looked great in both outings so far this season. So has Halladay.
There is not a whole lot we can compare and contrast with Hudson pitching against the Phillies. His injuries over the past two season don’t give us a lot to work with. But Hudson does appear to be fully healed from surgery.
This is the second game of the first series of the year for these two teams. The Braves won last night in comeback fashion using three home runs to tie and win the game. The Phillies now come in with their ace and revenge on their minds.
A huge statement can be made early in this season if the Braves get Hudson a win tonight. A win would be telling the Phillies and the rest of baseball that the Braves have actually morphed into a charismatic, fun, devoted and determined baseball team.
All of the dreamy thoughts aside, there are some adjustments Bobby Cox might have to make sooner than he normally does if he is going to keep the wheels on this machine for the entire season. Although Nate McLouth was the hero last night, he’s been awful up to that hit.
Matt Diaz or Melky Cabrera don’t want the job either. There’s a three-way battle to see who wants the job more and no one is winning. McLouth might have earned him the starting job for the rest of this week, but the competition starts all over again if he cannot hit the ball.
Troy Glaus also has been horrible at the plat, despite his home run last night. He had a chance earlier to get some runs in and he grounded out. Glaus has been decent defensively at first base. What doesn’t help the situation any is the Braves new top prospect, Freddie Freeman, is off to a real slow start in Gwinnett. Freeman, who plays first base, hit in his first at bat this season, but hasn’t made contact much since that game. If Freeman doesn’t explode soon, it guarantees Glaus will have every opportunity to completely stink or hit the ball for average with some dingers.
I’m not saying Glaus is going to have a bad year. I actually believed that this free agency pickup was a decent one to make considering the options. Of course, we did have the best player in baseball not too long ago playing that position. We gave Mark Teixiera one year with a horrible pitching staff to turn this team around. I realize the Braves weren’t going to spend $100 million on the guy, and it is unfortunate all pro sports do come down to cash, but this would be the year you make a move for a guy like him.
Hindsight is always just that.
This is a statement game.
Which one will the Braves make tonight?