Are the Atlanta Braves Back?

The Atlanta Braves have been winning again, including a series win vs. the the New York Yankees. Are they back?
Atlanta Braves pitcher Raisel Iglesias celebrates with catcher Sean Murphy after recording save and defeating the New York Yankees
Atlanta Braves pitcher Raisel Iglesias celebrates with catcher Sean Murphy after recording save and defeating the New York Yankees / Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports
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It’s a complex question, considering the length of the baseball season. The Atlanta Braves, like any team, experience ups and downs. Last month, they struggled to find their rhythm. However, they've bounced back with a vengeance since their latest lineup change.

The offense is now on fire, delivering plenty of home runs and extra-base hits, even without some of their star players in the mix. This collective effort is a testament to the team's resilience and potential for success. 

They are on a scorching streak this June. They are setting the National League ablaze, a stellar 8-2 record in their last ten games. On Friday night, they dominated the American League-leading N.Y. Yankees in the Bronx with a commanding 8-1 victory. On Sunday, Max Fried pitched a gem as the Braves won 3-1 in the series rubber match. 

The team is firing on all cylinders, receiving contributions from all areas, and showing potential to surpass their past performances. 

The Braves bats have arrived with a fury.

After an abysmal month of May for every Braves hitter not named Marcell Ozuna, from top to bottom – the lineup is producing. Despite losing their leadoff hitter, Michael Harris II, Jarred Kelenic has stepped into the role and thrived.

As of late, Ozzy Albies has hit a stroke of power, with two home runs, two extra-base hits, and seven RBI’s in his last eight days played. Ozuna has continued pushing for his National League MVP title, leading the NL in numerous offensive categories. However, the most essential three bats have injected absolute power into the offense.

The trio of Austin Riley, Matt Olson, and Sean Murphy have accounted for seven of the team's 14 home runs within the past week. 

The Braves bats have returned like in recent years, and the team’s bullpen has also been performing at a high level.

The bullpen has been dominant. 

Outside of a minor hiccup from now Triple-A relief pitcher Ray Kerr and closer Rasiel Iglesias – the Braves bullpen has only allowed three earned runs in 25.4 innings of relief work in the past eight days – sans the loss to the Yankees on Saturday. Grant Holmes has also boosted the team's spirits as he has been a fantastic addition to the team and is making himself a fan and teammate favorite.

The back end of the team’s pitching staff has held its own, and so has the rotation. 

The starting rotation has been a sight to watch.

The starting rotation has been on fire, with each starter recording a win in the past eight days. The only ‘downer’ was rookie Hurston Waldrep, who has the potential to be a difference-maker for the team in the future, just not yet. Regardless, Max Fried also seems to have returned to the dominant form of years past.

But within the past eight days, each Braves starter has only allowed one earned run sans Charlie Morton on Saturday night against the Yankees. With the rotation pitching the way it is, this team doesn’t need as much offensive support as it has in years past.

Regardless, the team is turning a corner, only seven games behind the NL East, leading the Philadelphia Phillies, and the All-Star break on the horizon. This could be the start of an impressive summer run, and with them not being in the driver’s seat, more faces could be added to contribute to the team’s success before the season is said and done. So, it is safe to say that the Braves of old are back, but maybe even better, considering that the pitching staff is firing on all cylinders.

CJ Errickson