Heading into their weekend series against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field this past weekend, the Atlanta Braves seemed as though they be going in reverse. They had just lost two-of-three games to the Philadelphia Phillies, dropping their first series since the New York Mets swept them to begin the season. They even needed extra innings to win a 15-13 showdown on May 2.
The team fought back against the Rockies and despite shaky starts from Tim Hudson and Mike Minor, swept the Rockies to improve their record to 18-11. Who were the biggest keys to success for the Braves in their sweep?
Beachy continues to be one of the best pitchers in the league. In the series finale, he improved his record to 3-1 on the season with a 1.62 ERA and 0.95 WHIP. He went 6 1/3 innings, allowing four hits and three walks with two earned runs allowed and five strikeouts. He is having a more successful season in 2012 than he did as a rookie in 2011, which is great considering how well he played in 2011. The only statistic I don't like are his lower strikeouts totals. A year ago, he recorded 169 in 141 2/3 innings, but has just 27 in 39 innings this season.
Jones had what many would consider a career games on May 5, but for Jones, it was just another solid performance in a Hall of Fame career. He went 3-for-5 in the game with a double and five RBIs. In the series, Jones was a menace to opposing pitchers, going a combined 6-for-11 with one home run and seven RBIs. Despite allegations that he was stealing signs against the ageless Jamie Moyer, Jones had a remarkable series and is making some feel that he could be able to play past the 2012 season.
Freeman has been one of the best players for the Braves this season and was a major reason why the team was able to storm into hitter-friendly Coors Field and get the sweep. He went 6-for-14 with two home runs and seven RBIs. He did have an 0-for-5 performance in the second game of the series, but Jones picked up the slack in that game. If the Braves continue to play as well as they have this season, Freeman could receive a lot of consideration the MVP voting.
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Hobson Lopes has been a life-long Atlanta Braves fan, thanks to TBS, and can be followed on Twitter @HobsonLopes.