Coming into 2013, the Atlanta Braves had a serious problem with their starting pitchers. There were too many of them. To compound this, the Braves had the electric Brandon Beachy coming back from Tommy John Surgery after the All-Star Break. What's a manager to do?
Unfortunately, after injuries to Tim Hudson, complications with Beachy's comeback, Paul Maholm's loss of accuracy and Alex Wood's fatigue pitching down the stretch, the Braves rotation has lot some key components that would be extremely beneficial for their 2013 playoff run.
While the Atlanta Braves haven't had a certified ace on their staff, they've still managed to maintain one of the best rotations in baseball. The Braves starting rotation, which has featured 21 different pitchers throughout the season, has the lowest cumulative ERA in the National league, clocking in at 3.18. The next closest is, you guessed it, the Los Angeles Dodgers, sitting at 3.25
With the exception of the Washington National's 405 walks issued this year, the Braves were next lowest, issuing only 409 walks throughout the season. The Braves also had the third youngest rotation in the NL this year, averaging out to 27.2, which means their dominance should be around for years to come.
For the NLDS, the Braves rotation consists of Kris Medlen, Julio Teheran, Mike Minor, and Freddy Garcia if necessary. After having a surplus of starting pitching at the beginning of the year, it's interesting that the fourth starter is a late-season pick-up who was initially signed for some spot starts to rest the Braves' younger pitching staff after clinching the NL East.
Medlen has been spectacular since August, Teheran has surprised everyone with his dominance this year, and although his last few outings have started rough, Minor has still performed solid under pressure and been able to settle down and give the Braves a solid 6+ innings each outing.
The Braves look to dominate a struggling Dodgers offense in the upcoming series, and have the tools in place to set themselves up for a quick 3-game sweep if the Braves' bats can come to life.
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