For everyone not named Ronald Acuna Jr. on the Atlanta Braves, it’s been a struggle through the first quarter of the 2021 season.
But that’s starting to change in recent weeks as the Atlanta Braves offense has picked things up a bit — and done so mostly without Acuna Jr.
They’ve scored at least 4 runs in each of their last four games and are averaging 6 runs a game over that span.
Unfortunately, they are just 2-2 in that stretch because of the continuing bullpen struggles.
However, it’s good to finally see some key contributors in this offense get going.
Over the last seven days, the Braves have four hitters (Contreras, Albies, Ozuna, and Riley) all hitting .300 or better.
Those four, plus Acuna and Freeman, all have an OPS of .790 or better during that stretch as well.
Contreras (3 walks), Riley (5 walks), and Ozuna (4 walks) all have an OBP over .400 the last seven days as well.
Those are all very encouraging numbers up-and-down the Braves lineup.
Can Braves Keep it Up Against the Mets?
Now the Braves come back home to take on the NL East-leading New York Mets who are a bit banged up at the moment with Jacob deGrom on the IL.
We know they’ll face Taijuan Walker on Monday night. Walker has been outstanding this season with a 2.20 ERA in 7 starts and 1.02 WHIP to go along with 39 strikeouts in 41 innings.
His .221 BABIP and 4.07 xERA indicate he’s been a bit lucky and there is some obvious regression coming his way — hopefully it starts on Monday.
We know the Braves will miss Marcus Stroman who pitched on Sunday.
They haven’t announced starters for the Tuesday and Wednesday games yet.
David Peterson seems like a lock to start one of those games. He was really good his last time out allowing just 2 earned runs on 4 hits and 2 walks over 7.1 innings with 9 strikeouts in a no-decision against the Rays.
On the year he has a 4.86 ERA in 7 starts with 41 strikeouts in 33.1 innings.
Perhaps Joey Lucchesi gets a chance to start game three of this series, or they just go with a bullpen game.
Either way, the Braves are missing two of the Mets best starters here and have to take advantage.
That’s why it’s so good to see the bats waking up coming into this series as they have the opportunity to stay hot and win a big series over their division rivals.