The Braves pitching rotation this year is terrible and it's going to come back to bite them eventually. Maddux is not the same Maddux of old and is pretty inadequate as the ace of a contending team. Ortiz is OK, but shaky and walks way too many. Hampton and Reynolds are both inconsistent, and past their prime. And Ramirez is a rookie that will go through ups and downs all year. Unless they go and acquire another good starter, the Braves will be doomed to more embarrassment in the playoffs.
Hampton and Reynolds are shaky. I agree. Maddux hasn't been the same Maddux that we all know. But with him I think it's a pretty sure bet, he'll come around, as we've seen in his last three starts. As for Ortiz being shaky...I don't think so. He's been rock solid so far. He does walk a aouple of guys too many, but he's still been great. Ramirez is still a young Grashopper with A LOT of potential. I'm waiting for Byrd to come off the DL. I wonder what he can do....
personally, and no personal disrespect, i'd love to see their rotation fold, their offense come back to earth, and clear way for les expos to come through and make the playoffs.
the expos have been pretty damn good despite vlad playing like a mere mortal, vazquez coming back down to earth in a hurry, and tony armas going down for the year after starting off like a cy young contender.
The Braves have to worry more about the Phillies than they do about the Expos. If the Phillies offense ever gets going, I think that Thome/Abreu/Burrell are more dangerous than Jones/Jones/Sheffield, it's just that the Phillies offense is slumping and the Braves are hitting over their heads right now.
Also, the Phillies rotation is far better than the Braves rotation. I'd take Millwood/Wolf/Padilla/Myers over Maddux/Ortiz/Reynolds/Hampton anyday. The only thing the Braves have that's better than the Phillies is a better bullpen and a far better closer.
That's an interesting point jdh, but right now, I'd take Mariner pitchers Moyer, Meche, Pineiro, Franklin and Garcia instead . As far as hitting goes, I'd also take Boone, Ichiro, Edgar and Olerud over the hitters you mention.
What with all the hype over Sosa's bat, nobody seems to be noticing the M's are 8-0 on their current road trip and are in the process of expanding a pretty large lead in the AL west.
The Mariners are currently making the Philly players you mention look like underachievers.
It will be interesting to see how Atlanta fares against the M's next week.