May 3, 2007


5 reasons Braves are contenders again (DAVID O'BRIEN, 5/04/07, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

3. The bullpen is much improved

After enduring a league-high 29 blown saves in 2006, the Braves made rebuilding the bullpen a winter priority. The relievers have blown only three saves so far. The Braves have limited opponents to a .195 average (third-best in the NL) and one homer in the late innings (seventh inning or later of close games), after allowing a .277 average and 26 homers in those situations last season.

4. The resurgent Tim Hudson

He was 27-21 in his first two seasons with Atlanta, including a career-worst 13-12 with a 4.86 ERA in 2006. He vowed to restore his ace status in 2007, and that's precisely what he's doing. Hudson is 3-0 with a 1.40 ERA and .186 opponents' average. After allowing 235 hits and a career-high 25 homers in '06, he's given up 29 hits and one homer in 45 innings.

There's no shame for the Mets in finishing second (or third) to the Braves.

Posted by Orrin Judd at May 3, 2007 11:45 PM
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