• Exclusives

    What we learned from sweep of the Brewers

    By Kent Covington

    Brian McCann went 5-for-10 w/ a homer and 5 RBI vs MIL

    On Sunday afternoon, the Atlanta Braves completed a 3-game sweep of the Milwaukee Brewers with a 7-4 victory at Turner Field. It was the fifth straight win for Atlanta, which pushed the team over the .500 mark at 5-4 after a dreadful 0-4 start.

    Here’s what we learned from the Braves’ sweep of the Brewers…

    The Good:

    • Atlanta scored 19 runs, highlighted by longballs from Brian McCann, Matt Diaz, Chipper Jones and Jason Heyward.
    • The bullpen went unscathed, with the exception of a rough 1-inning outing by Eric O’Flaherty in game-1 of the series and another poor showing from Chad Durbin in the series finale.
    • Mike Minor and Brandon Beachy each turned in 7- inning gems (Minor recorded one out in the 8th inning) in which neither allowed an earned run.

    The Bad:

    • Jair Jurrjens struggled in his second start of the young season, allowing 5 earned runs through 5 innings of work. What’s more, he surrendered his 3rd and 4th homers of the young season and very nearly allowed a 5th on a Cory Hart double high off the left field wall. For perspective, he did not surrender his fourth homer last year until June 9. The silver lining is that “JJ” feels healthy and his velocity was solid, relative to spring training the the 2011 season.
    • Chad Durbin allowed 3 earned runs in an inning of work on Sunday. He also gave up his 3rd homerun in as many appearances. If he doesn’t justify his existence in Atlanta soon, he may not last here much longer.
    • Eric O’Flaherty also allowed 3 earned in the only inning he pitched against the Brewers on on Friday. It’s far too early, though, to worry about O’Flaherty, who led all big league relievers in ERA last season.
    • Freddie Freeman and Tyler Pastornicky both went hitless in the series.

    Bottom Line:

    A 3-game sweep was a great was to open the Ted for business in 2012. The Braves offense is signaling that it should score plenty of runs in ’12, despite slow starts from Uggla, Freeman, Bourn and Pastornicky. The bullpen, widely heralded as the Braves’ greatest asset, appears solid indeed.  However, Jurrjens’ early struggles are a bit unsettling (though it’s FAR too early to panic).

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