Jeff Schultz

This AJC sports blogger takes things seriously when he has to, but he really would rather not

As Freeman powers Braves, Upton still searching for ... anything


MILWAUKEE -- Starting pitching so far: Not a problem.

One night after Julio Teheran allowed just two runs in six innings against Milwaukee, Alex Wood pitched seven solid innings, giving up just a run (a homer to Carlos Gomez, the Brewers' first batter). So that's three runs allowed in 13 innings for two starters. The only difference Tuesday was that Wood was supported by some offense: Freddie Freeman homered twice, Jason Heyward hit his first and the Braves evened the series with a 5-2 win over the Brewers.

Manager Fredi Gonzalez praised Wood for being "mentally tough," particularly after allowing the early home run.

Freeman also credited Wood and said he and others in the lineup feel compelled to help out the wounded pitching staff this season: "When you lose two-fifths of the rotation in back-to-back days after what they did for us last year, we want to take it upon ourselves to give (the pitchers) some breathing room this year."

So that was the good. But not everybody in the lineup took a step forward Tuesday.

I wrote an early column for print and MyAJC.com on B.J. Upton, who is coming off a disastrous first season (.184) in Atlanta. Upton believes he has worked out some of the problems that plagued him a year ago but the results don't show it. In two games, he is 0-for-8 with four strikeouts. (Meanwhile, the Braves' other pin cushion last year, Dan Uggla, has had solid at-bats in his two games and doubled twice Tuesday.)

The link to the full column on Upton can be found here on MyAJC.com.

I asked Upton about his struggles and his critics, particularly those in social media. Among his comments: "Oh yeah. They’re all over me already. Whatever. They don’t have to come out and play. ... Everybody has something to say. But like I said: They don’t have to play and I don’t have to see them. I play for these 24 players and these coaches.”

There's a lot more in the column.

I can only guess what's coming but here goes: Do you have any confidence that Upton will get things going?

 


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About the Author

Jeff Schultz is a general sports columnist and blogger who isn't afraid to share his opinion, which may not necessarily jibe with yours.