After years of dominant pitching, the Braves, as we all know, have not lived up to such standards this year. So far in 2012, the Braves, according to B-R WAR, have accumulated 1.7 WAR, after posting totals of 16.4, 15.4, and 22.5 WAR the previous three seasons. Injuries have not helped the cause, though they have not affected the staff quite like they did in 2008, a team that posted 2.8 WAR.
With such a low total, you can expect to see no one with a high WAR figure, which is the case. Brandon Beachy compiled 1.9 WAR before blowing out his elbow. Craig Kimbrel is second at 1.4 WAR, and no one else cracks 1.0. Kimbrel should be able to surpass 2 WAR, along with Tim Hudson or Tommy Hanson if they have a good second half. If none of them do so, it would be the first time since 1964 that the Braves fail to have a 2-WAR pitcher in a season. About one team a year across the league has done this the past few years (the Padres last year), and 94 since 1901. Going the other way, seven pitchers on the ’91 team posted at least 2 WAR, along with six in ’99.
Even if you raise the threshold to 2.5 WAR, the Braves have had at least one pitcher reach that mark every season after getting shut out in 1965. Across the history of the leagues, the total increases to 207 teams not posting a pitcher with at least 2.5 WAR, 126 of those since ’65. It’s amazing to see such a long run of good pitching, but it very well could be coming to an end this year.
Name the seven Braves pitchers to post at least 2 WAR in 1991.