Through the prism of a small sample size, the Braves offense has been a revelation.
How much of one will be cemented or blown to smithereens in good time, but for now, a team that has played its last three seasons at a combined 36 games under .500 has been one of baseball's biggest early surprises, largely behind its bats.
But Atlanta's starting pitching has made serious strides, including one of the more impressive visiting performances in Coors Field history.
That outing takes center stage as we dive into the week that was for the Braves.
1. Starting pitchers find their foothold
When Julio Teheran exited last Tuesday's outing against the Nationals, he did so after just 2 1/3 innings -- marking the shortest outing of his 164 career starts -- and continuing a rocky run for Braves starters.
To that point, they had a collective 7.15 ERA in five starts and while Mike Foltynewciz and Brandon McCarthy allowed two earned runs apiece, no Braves pitcher had, at that point, delivered a quality start.
But Atlanta's staters have been stellar since, compiling a 2.42 ERA and 1.164 WHIP, with the first QS coming courtesy of McCarthy in Friday's 8-3 win over the Rockies, in which he yielded three runs in six innings.
Add in Foltynewicz's 5 1/3 innings of four hits, eight strikeouts -- two of which came at the expense of Bryce Harper -- and two walks vs. Washington, and Anibal Sanchez yielding two runs with six Ks and two BBs over five innings in Colorado, and things were already looking positive.
Then Sean Newcomb put a put an exclamation point on the run with the Braves' best start in Colorado in two years, as he blanked the Rockies in a five-hit, nine-strikeout gem.
Newcomb's Game Score of 71 was Atlanta's sixth-best at Coors Field, just behind Teheran's seven shutout innings on Aug. 14, 2017.
But, of course, the number that everyone is, and should be focusing on, is zero, as in the number of walks Newcomb allowed. It was his first such outing in the majors for he of the 5.3 BB/9 coming in over his first 20 starts, and just the fifth time in his five-year pro career that Newcomb didn't issue a free pass in a start -- and it put him in exclusive company.
Just nine times has a visiting pitcher thrown six or more scoreless innings in Coors Field with at least nine strikeouts. But just one did so without -- like Newcomb -- issuing a walk. That would be Hall of Famer Randy Johnson in 2007.
Teheran, who gets the ball Monday night in Washington, D.C., is sorely in need of a strong start, and he'll try to do so against the team he couldn't get through the third inning against. But outside of the two-time All-Star, the Braves starters appear to have found their footing.
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2. Remaining in awe of Braves offense
The counting numbers Atlanta's offense has compiled have been staggeringly impressive. It leads the majors with 62 runs, batting average (.285) and slugging percentage (.475), is second in on-base percentage (.366) and only six teams have struck out fewer than the Braves' 65 times.
Granted, it's been aided by the out-of-their-minds level of play of by Ryan Flaherty (185 wRC+) and Preston Tucker (191), and at 140, Nick Markakis is on track for his most productive March/April since 2009, when he had 168 wRC+.
Meanwhile, Ozzie Albies has 123 wRC+ after his 5 for 12 series vs. the Rockies, and Freddie Freeman is playing at an MVP level once again, with a whopping 236 wRC+ that's the fifth-best figure in MLB.
They're all contributing to the Braves also leading baseball with a collective 2.8 WAR -- but the most positive development for this offense has to be the production it's getting out of the rejuvenated Dansby Swanson.
The second-year shortstop is sitting on 174 wRC+ after hitting his first home run of the season in Sunday's 4-0 win over the Rockies. He now has five extra-base hits and seven RBI in his first eight games of the season, after taking 28 games to reach that RBI mark and 38 to hit that many extra-base hits in 2017.
Yes, it's just eight games and he's had some good luck, sporting a .440 batting average on balls in play (last year, he was hit by bad luck when that number was at .292), but this was seen as a crucial year for Swanson after his minus-0.1 fWAR 2017.
So far, he -- just like the rest of the MLB-best Braves offense -- is more than delivering.
Copyright The Associated Press. All rights reserved.AP
3. Proving ground continues in D.C., Wrigley Field
Of the eight teams sitting on six or more wins, five didn't make the postseason a year ago, but only the the Pirates -- who traded away stars Gerrit Cole and Andrew McCutcheon -- may be a bigger surprise than the Braves.
But Atlanta's start becomes that much more impressive when you consider not just the win total or the production, but the opposition.
The Braves are in the midst of a 12-game stretch against National League playoff teams from a year ago -- with two series against the defending East champion Nationals, along with the Rockies and Cubs -- while Pittsburgh has played the Tigers (98 losses in 2017) and Reds (94 losses).
In fact, the Diamondbacks (Dodgers and Rockies) are the only other team to win all three of its series that has picked up two of those wins against teams to reach the postseason.
It's no guarantee of destination for these Braves, but they haven't had a winning first month of the season since 2014, the last time Atlanta finished second in the division.
Pulling that off becomes that much more daunting as April's gauntlet continues this week with trips to D.C. and Wrigley Field. But how's this for progress? The Braves were 20-26 against the NL's postseason squads in 2017, including 3-4 vs. the Rockies and 9-10 vs. the Nationals, two teams they just took two of three from.