Braves vs. Nationals Series Recap

It was a successful first series of the year for the Braves. Here was the good, bad, and ugly from the first weekend:

The Good:

Alex Gonzalez, Jason Heyward, and Chipper Jones - Each of these guys posted an OPS above 1.000 and each put together great at-bats all series long. We expected it from Jason Heyward, but if Chipper and Gonzo can stay healthy and continue their strong start to the season, the Braves could score a ton of runs this year.

Tim Hudson and Derek Lowe - Their combined line from the series? 12.2 IP, 6H, 1ER, 3BB, 11K. That'll work boys. Keep it up.

Welcome to Atlanta, Mr. Uggla - His first hit in an Atlanta Braves uniform was a home run, and he played solid defense all weekend in unfavorable conditions. It'll be really fun to watch him hit in the middle of our lineup for the next few years.

The bullpen - They gave up two runs on Saturday and Jonny Venters gave up a meaningless run in Sunday's game, but outside of that, the 'pen was phenomenal. Craig Kimbrel looked great in his first closing opportunity on Thursday and assuming they can stay healthy, the bullpen should be a huge strength for the Braves once again in 2011.

The Bad: 

Tommy Hanson - He had to deal with multiple weather delays which likely threw him off of his normal routine, but Tommy was awful on Saturday. He couldn't locate his fastball if his life depended on it and his slider continually hung up in the zone. No reason to be concerned, but he'll need to have a much better start in Milwaukee.

Nate McLouth's defense - He misread a blooper in center field which allow Jayson Werth to turn a single into a double and he had a hard hit line drive bounce off his glove and roll all the way to the center field wall. It's one thing if he isn't hitting at the plate, but we cannot afford mistakes like that in the field.

The Ugly:

Opening Weekend Weather in Washington D.C. - I propose a new rule to Major League Baseball: Opening Weekend cannot be played anywhere north of St. Louis. The weather sucked in Washington D.C., and we can only hope the schedulers won't make the Braves go through that again in the next few years.

MASN Announcers - For those of you who got the SportsSouth feed, be thankful that you did. Bob Carpenter was in mid-season form with his ridiculous homerism and as tough as it may be to believe that Rob Dibble's replacement could be any worse than his predecessor, it's true. F.P. Santangelo makes your head hurt and made blatantly obvious and wrong statements all series long. Ugh.

Next Up:

The Braves will travel to Milwaukee to face the 0-3 Milwaukee Brewers. It'll be a 4-game series that'll kick off tomorrow afternoon.

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