Jeff Schultz blog 

This AJC sports blogger takes things seriously when he has to, but he really would rather not

Braves enjoying view, despite some issues

  • 3:37 pm Wednesday, April 23rd, 2014 by Jeff Schultz

The Braves are 21 games into the season. It’s a large enough sample size to form initial impressions but too small to assume anything over the next … well, 141 games.

They defeated Miami Wednesday 3-1. They received another strong start from Aaron Harang (who is this guy?), a pinch hit, two-run double by Evan Gattis (been there) and a three-batter/two-strikeout save by Craig Kimbrel (not dead).

At 14-7, and having won six out of seven series, the good has far outweighed the bad.

But here’s an early progress/regress report.

Three things that haven’t been a problem:

1. Starting pitching. To anybody who says something [More]

LIVE BLOG: 5 questions going into Braves’ season

  • 11:20 am Monday, March 31st, 2014 by Jeff Schultz
The very early scene from Miller Park in Milwaukee.

MILWAUKEE — Let me start with this: I walked into Miller Park at the same time as Julio Teheran and his arm was not in a sling. So at least one projected Braves’ starter made it to opening day healthy.

Is he ready? Is this team ready?

To quote manager Fredi Gonzalez, when asked how he felt about his team, “Good. Good. I feel good. Whether I do or not isn’t going to matter. The season opens on Monday. Here we go.”

It’s opening day in Milwaukee.

Why does it feel like the Braves already are in a hole?

From Gonzalez before the game when [More]

Kimbrel’s value as closer obvious to Braves

  • 11:18 am Sunday, February 16th, 2014 by Jeff Schultz

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — There is a disturbed segment of the baseball populace that has come to believe closers are overrated. This group of fans and some team executives mostly are followers (lemmings?) of Sabermetrics, a pure, 100-percent statistical evaluation of baseball that allows no room for trivial things … like brains and heartbeats.

“All innings are created equal,” Braves general manager Frank Wren said with a smile Sunday, tongue firmly planted in cheek.

Statistical evaluation can be a valuable tool for judging athletes and teams. But there’s also something to be said for the mindset of a pitcher who can [More]