Mark Bradley

Mark Bradley is a sports columnist and blogger for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Four down, 158 to go for the undefeated Braves


Shockin' the world, joltin' the Mets. (AP Photo/Kevin Liles)

The Atlanta Braves are 4-0. Yes, the Atlanta Braves. No, I didn't expect it. But they're playing good baseball. Credit where it's due.

Victory No. 4 came Friday night against the New York Mets, who aided and abetted. Two Wilmer Flores errors led to two unearned Braves runs, which is why the game was tied at 3 in the eighth, which is where the Mets decided they'd played long enough -- the Braves' home opener commenced after a 69-minute rain delay -- and essentially punted.

With Jace Peterson on second base -- he'd pinch-run for Chris Johnson, who'd doubled in front of center fielder Juan Lagares-- and one out, Andrelton Simmons chopped a ball to third baseman David Wright, who's the Mets' captain and best player. For reasons unknown, Wright chose to try and tag Peterson heading to third rather than throw to first to retire the runner.

The Mets wound up getting nobody and not covering second. Simmons kept running and wound up in scoring position on an odd play that was, oddly enough, scored a two-base fielder's choice. (Seen one of those lately?) After Alberto Callaspo was walked and Cameron Maybin whiffed, Phil Gosselin rapped a full-count single to center to make it 5-3.

The Braves' bullpen was again lockdown: Five relievers, four innings, two baserunners, no runs. Starter Eric Stults was handed a 3-nil lead and couldn't hold it, but he kept his team afloat by inducing two double plays after the Mets had scored three runs on two pitches. (Wright and John Mayberry Jr. hit back-to-back homers.)

Ergo, 4-0. It's early, but there are four fewer games to play than when the week began, and the Braves haven't lost yet. Yes, I'm surprised. And more than a bit impressed.

From myajc: The new Braves -- unassuming but unbeaten.


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About the Author

Mark Bradley is a sports columnist and blogger for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. He has been with the AJC since 1984.