Atlanta Braves offense starting to feel "Chipper"

On Sunday April 15th the Atlanta Braves completed their sweep of the Milwaukee Brewers as the offense picked up the pace. Braves offense has been slow out of the starting blocks this season but with a healthy Chipper Jones back in the line up the Braves offense has vastly improved. Chipper Jones is currently batting .417 with 2 home runs and 5 RBI's and Jason Heyward is also starting to pick up his batting game .345 BA over the last 5 contests. The real question for this Braves offense is can Jones and Heyward keep up the pace. Offensively the Atlanta Braves have been inept coming off of a disappointing 2011 season.

Braves offensive problems have been a major topic of conversation since the retirement of former Manager Bobby Cox and the issues have remained heading into the 2012 Spring Training Camp. Atlanta's first four games of the 2012 regular season looked like more of the same 2011 nightmare as the Braves only averaged 2.5 runs per game. Talk of the 2012 ball club possibly being one of the wort offensives in Braves history and other rumors have been circulated publicly in Atlanta. Braves currently rank in the bottom portion of the league in hits 7.67, Doubles 1.33 and batting average .232. 

On the sunny side of baseball the Braves offense is showing some "juice" averaging 6 runs per game since April 10th and winning 2 out of 3 versus the Houston Astros and sweeping the Brewers. Braves are riding a 5 game winning streak that has calmed some of the rumor chatter. Chipper Jones return has sparked confidence on offense and Manager Fredi Gonzalez is hoping Chippers presence on the diamond continues to be that spark that turns the corner for the Braves offense.

In a recent interview with AJC Greg Walker the Braves hitting coach hinted that he wanted the team to concentrate on battling the ball at the plate, challenging pitchers and creating ball contact instead of looking for "Moneyballs" at the plate. “We want to be smart, but we also want to be aggressive,”  Walker wants is for the Braves “to develop a mindset” that doesn’t vary from at-bat to at-bat. Braves small ball might be the recipe to jump starting Dan Uggla, Brian Mc Cann, Freddie Freeman, Chipper Jones, Alex Gonzalez and Jason Heyward. All six players are capable of producing 20+ home run seasons.

 If the Braves new "Chipper" feeling offense can continue for the remainder of the 2012 season #10 can retire with another trip to a World Series. 

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