As Atlanta opens up a series tonight in Pittsburgh against the Pirates, here are some things that stood out from the quick two game series against the Royals.
Atlanta's offense gets a lot of the publicity, but yet again, the Braves' pitching staff was fantastic during the quick two game set. Both Kris Medlen and Mike Minor had very productive starts, and the Atlanta staff as a whole put up a line of 18 IP, 17 H, 4 R, 3 ER, 0 BB, and 16 K's.
Coming into the series, many people were concerned about Jason Heyward's slow start at the plate. There were some signs that he was coming around, and this series definitely reinforced that observation. He collected only two hits, a solo home run and a double, but hit almost everything hard when he made contact. Heyward also made a couple of spectacular plays in the field for the Braves.
Center fielder Lorenzo Cain quietly had a really nice series at the plate for the Royals, as he collected five hits and a stolen base. He was also caught stealing once.
Sloppy play and poor decision making hurt the Braves during both games of the series. Atlanta committed three errors during Tuesday's victory, and then Evan Gattis waited too long to throw to first when he had Alcides Escobar picked off during Wednesday's game. Third base coach Brian Snitker also made a poor call in sending Juan Francisco home, as he was easily thrown out at the plate.
Speaking of Francisco, Fat Juan collected two hits during each game, including his two solo shots during game one of the series. Chris Johnson added three hits of his own, so the third base platoon will be clicking on all cylinders when Freddie Freeman returns next week.
Both of Kansas City's starters, Jeremy Guthrie and Wade Davis, fared well against Atlanta, combining for a line of 14 IP, 10 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, and 13 K's.
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