2014: Atlanta Braves Team Preview
March 28, 2014INDIANA SPORTS PAGE
Despite a disappointing exit from last season's playoffs, the Atlanta Braves have to feel pretty good about the direction they are headed.
Expected to battle the Washington Nationals for supremacy in the NL East, the Braves won 13 of their first 15 and were 17-9 by the end of April. That quick start allowed Atlanta to battle through some injuries and consistent play meant the club was never challenged down the stretch en route to its first division crown since 2005.
Key relievers Eric O'Flaherty and Jonny Venters were lost to season-ending elbow injuries early on, catcher Brian McCann was sidelined at the campaign's onset, starter Tim Hudson sustained a season-ending leg injury in late June and outfielder Jason Heyward missed time with a fractured jaw.
That didn't stop the Braves from leading the NL East by as much as 15 1/2 games in late August, an advantage that swelled during a 14-game winning streak from July 26-Aug. 9.
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