On Wednesday night, every Atlanta Braves fan had their heart drop all the way into their stomach. Seeing Tim Hudson in so much pain is a memory that Atlanta fans wish they could get rid of. Hudson is the veteran, and the rock that was supposed to lead this Braves team to the World Series. Now what?
Is it time to go into complete panic mode and think the season is over? Are we supposed to believe that Beachy’s return will offset Hudson’s injury? Or should we just wait and see how the thing plays out?
We are fans, so you and I both know that we are going to overreact and that we are rarely patient under any circumstance. It is hard to imagine this Braves team without Hudson on the hill every five games, but that is the reality of the situation whether we like it or not.
I have done nothing but think about whether the Braves can win a World Series now, since Hudson went down. The first thing I thought about, was the Dodgers look really good now. If they head into the playoffs with this kind of momentum, then they could be really dangerous.
Next was the idea that the top three teams in the NL Central could all win the World Series. The Cardinals hit like an American league team, on top of having a fantastic pitching staff. The Pirates have the best combined ERA of any pitching staff in baseball, along with a lineup that hits enough to win a bunch of games. You can’t leave out the Reds either. They have big pop in their order, with arguably the most talented starting rotation top to bottom.
Healthy or not it is going to be extremely difficult for the Braves to get to the World Series. The Braves have the power needed to be successful in the postseason, as the Bravos are the only team in baseball to have six players with ten plus home runs.
On the other hand though, they only hit .250 as a team. The saving grace of this team has been their pitching and we all know that. The Braves have the second best team ERA in baseball, at 3.34. We know the pitching is solid, but do they have the big ace to win it all? With Hudson out for the rest of the season, that really worries me.
It is hard enough to win games against names like Kershaw and Wainwright, but it is increasingly more difficult when you don’t have an ace.
That brings me to my last thought; will the Braves make a move before the trading deadline? Personally I believe they have to try to go after a top-level starter, but that doesn’t mean the organization agrees. It is hard for me to say this, but if Atlanta doesn’t make a move to get an ace, I don’t think they can win the World Series this year. If they do go get that top shelf pitcher, I think with a little more consistency at the plate, the sky is the limit for the Atlanta Braves.