Hot at the plate - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Hot at the plate

September 29, 2003

Atlanta--The Atlanta Braves will begin yet another quest for a World Championship tomorrow night in game one of their best of five National League Divisional Series with the Chicago Cubs.

And unlike in year's past where the Braves have been known for their superior starting pitching, this season it's the Braves lineup that has been giving opponents fits.

The Braves worked out this afternoon at Turner Field for a little over an hour, hoping to fine tune what has been an offensive machine this season. But Atlanta's record breaking year at the plate hasn't just come from one or two players.

From top to bottom the Braves lineup has been the strongest in the majors all year long. And that's quite a contrast from a team that's been notorious for having the best pitching staff in baseball.

Tomorrow night's game 1 starter, Russ Ortiz has been a first-hand witness to the Braves offensive onslought this year. Ortiz says his job becomes a whole lot easier when his teammates start lighting up the scoreboard.

"I mean you know these guys are going to score some runs and you know that if you keep the other team at bay and if they do score a couple of runs and you keep it right there then you know that there's a good chance that they're going to win the ball game and that's obviously a good feeling to have," Ortiz said.

"We have no excuses now. I guess, like you said, the difference is our offense this year. And hopefully we can put together pretty good numbers out there, offensively," catcher Javy Lopez said.

Game one of the best of five series against the Cubs begins tomorrow night at 8 o'clock in Atlanta. Braves manager Bobby Cox says he'll announce his postseason roster tomorrow morning before the 10am deadline.

Posted at 9:00pm by kevin.mcdermond@walb.com