When was the last time the Braves have shown quality pitching, hitting and defense in the same game? How about even two of those in the same game? Atlanta pitchers have been near-dominant all year, but Wednesday's implosion proved that they are indeed human. The defense has been suspect the entire season and it's gotten even worse since the all-star break. But, despite yesterday's 10 runs, it's been the offense's inconsistency that has hurt the team the most, especially this month.
Heading into Wednesday's game, these are the Braves' August offensive stats (according to baseball-reference.com):
- Rick Ankiel - .212/.307/.318
- Derrek Lee - .105/.227/.158
- Jason Heyward - .247/.349/.425
- Melky Cabrera - .234/.279/.391
- Brian McCann - .213/.338/.410
- Eric Hinske - .105/.292/.184
- Matt Diaz - .220/.304/.366
- Troy Glaus - .208/.255/.375
- Omar Infante - .370/.400/.560
- Martin Prado - .344/.417/.531
- Brooks Conrad - .294/.415/.559 (34 AB)
- David Ross - .261/.370/.522 (23 AB)
Omar Infante and Martin Prado are the team's only 'regulars' who are producing much. Jason Heyward's been heating up recently to (hopefully) join them. But other than those players, that's A LOT of wasted at bats. Now taking a look at team's run production in August:
- Through 8/25 (24 games) - 5 r/g
- Without the 16 run, 13 run, 10 run and 10 run outbursts (20 games) - 3.6 r/g
The Braves have the NL’s - and MLB's - 3rd best ERA at 3.45 (before Wednesday's game), but add to that 42 unearned runs and you begin to see why the Braves have so many last at bat wins and one-run losses. The pitching may, repeat MAY, be enough to get to the team to the play-offs, but there needs to be a much more consistent all-around effort if the Braves truly want to do any real damage in October.
Atlanta has an off day today and will begin a three-game series on Friday back at Turner Field (THANK YOU) against the Marlins. It will be very important for the team to get back on track this weekend. Hanson, Hudson and Lowe will be throwing for the Braves (Minor's spot will again be skipped). Volstad's pitching on Friday for the Marlins while their Saturday and Sunday starters have yet to be officially announced.