The past month has been pretty tough on the Braves.
Fortunately, brighter days are ahead. Much, much brighter.
As we noted a few weeks back, Major League Baseball dealt the Braves a shit hand to begin the season. Only 14 of their first 40 games came at Turner Field, including eight of their last 34. The team has already had two road trips of 10+ days.
By win-loss percentage, the Braves have played the ninth-toughest schedule in baseball thus far. No team from the NL East is in the top-15.
Yet, somehow, Atlanta still features a 22-18 record, which is good for a half-game lead over the Nationals.
Jason Heyward has been out for nearly a month. He comes back Friday. When he's playing, Atlanta is 13-5. They went 9-13 when he was on the disabled list.
Brian McCann is healthy and absolutely pounded the ball his first week back. B.J. Upton will hopefully break out of his funk sooner rather than later. Brandon Beachy will be ready to go within a month's time. If the club needs to make a trade, they have about $8 million saved from the offseason to spend.
The combined record of the Braves' next 10 opponents is 182-207. That bodes really well for a team that's finally getting healthy. And it could mean that the team is about to go on another tear, putting distance between themselves and the rest of the lackluster division.