It's Not As Bad As All That... Yet

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Jun 17, 2014; Atlanta, GA, USA; Philadelphia Phillies left fielder Domonic Brown (9) scores in front of Atlanta Braves starting pitcher Ervin Santana (30) after a passed ball during the fourth inning at Turner Field. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Jun 17, 2014; Atlanta, GA, USA; Philadelphia Phillies left fielder Domonic Brown (9) scores in front of Atlanta Braves starting pitcher Ervin Santana (30) after a passed ball during the fourth inning at Turner Field. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Yes, the Braves have been playing mediocre baseball over the past couple of months.  But as the weather has heated up, the trends are actually getting worse.  And that makes for several problems that may be extremely difficult to overcome as we go forward into Summer.

The Braves have lost…

  • 3 in a row… to the bottom-dwelling Phillies… at home
  • 4 of their last 5 games
  • 6 of their last 8 games
  • 10 of the 16 played this month

They are now a scant 1 game above .500 in a division that is ready and ripe for the taking.  Yet, Atlanta has been coming back to the field ever since their 17-7 start in April.

We’re going to take a look at the problems…  but also some reasons to coax you back inside from the ledge.

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Tags: Atlanta Braves

  • Mushy Peas

    The Nationals are certainly feeling a sense of apprehension prior to their series with the Braves given their dismal record against them going back to the beginning of last season. While they are in first place, they know it’s not because they’ve been playing well, it’s because the Braves and virtually everyone else in the division isn’t playing well at all. Yes, they are aware of the Braves’ struggles over the past month or so, but it hasn’t necessarily given them the confidence booster you think it would. They feel that Murphy’s law seems to always be in effect when they play the Braves. This frame of mind can be utilized to their disadvantage. Also, they too have had difficulty scoring runs (even against some lesser pitchers). There was a brief spell where it looked as though they would turn things around, but, essentially, they continue to remain inconsistent. Their last 8 games breakdown as follows: Record: 2-4; Slash: .214/.308/.277; ERA: 4.42; Runs/game: 2.66
    The Braves will be sending out Floyd, Minor, Teheran, and Santana. If these guys can even remotely pitch to their capabilities, then that should give the gradually improving offense a chance to score enough runs to pull off a win. At present, The Nats’ bullpen has the lowest league ERA, but like the Braves, they’re not well rested and Nats’ fans still feel like they could implode at any moment.
    Bottom line is our starters need to rebound and pitch as deep into the game as possible. The offense needs to take advantage of the confidence and success they have had against Nats’ starting pitching. They can also profit from their tired bullpen, a less than stellar defense, and a very lackluster offense. Above all else, the Braves need to use their ‘ownage’ of the Nats to their advantage. Believe me, it is foremost on their mind and a hot topic of conversation on Nats’ radio and tv. If the first win goes to Atlanta, then the “here we go again” natitude should help to unravel them. Consequently, it should also give the Braves the boost they need to dominate in the relatively easy schedule leading up to the All-Star break.

  • Joseph Fain

    I don’t see trading Floyd and replacing him with Wood. Our rotation is much better to me if we let Harrang go and slot Wood in for him.

    • http://tomahawktake.com/ carpengui

      I don’t disagree; however, there will clearly be better trade offers made for Floyd vs. Harang, and the longer-term question is going to be whether a particular offer will be better for the team 2-3 years from now. This is the part where I wanna bug the conference rooms in Frank Wren’s offices so we can know what they’re hearing and can fully evaluate the decisions that are ultimately made.

      One concern about Floyd (in my mind) is whether he’ll be fully healthy for the remainder of the season, given his quick turn-around from the TJ+ surgery. He’s been really very good without any hitches thus far. Surprising, but that’s another reason why I’d think he’s the obvious choice to flip… though yes, perhaps to the detriment of performance here and there.

      • Mushy Peas

        I wouldn’t mind hanging on to Floyd, but, like you said, he has a higher trade value than Harang and it’s hard to say how well he’ll perform as his IP continues to climb. I would like Wren to trade both for a quality reliever (preferably a lefty) and put Woody and Hale back in the rotation.

        • fireboss

          I said when his great run started that Harang would end up as mop up man or DFA. Not sure what the rush is to trade Floyd nor why anyone thinks there’s anything we would need other than a B and C prospect in the offing unless someone is dumping a contract for s spot we suddenly need or we need roster room for something else. I suspect those are the offers they’ve fielded already and said no He’s a rental and as Alan says a health risk. Of course tonight he looks like Cy Floyd so maybe someone – Kansas City? – sees this and comes calling because they are really close to doing what I predicted. They need a bat more but who knows what Dayton is thinking. Floyd fits the Pirates or maybe Orioles too but they are both cheap – frugal – whatever you wish. If the O’s are close at the deadline he’s a good fit there but if he’s that good he’s better than Hale; why trade him?

          • Mushy Peas

            Hoping to trade him before what just happened.
            So sad for Gavin. He was stellar tonight.

          • http://tomahawktake.com/ carpengui

            Sometimes I hate it when I’m right. :

          • fireboss

            yep

  • Joseph Fain

    One thing that often gets lost in the length of the baseball season is perspective. The Braves have always been a 2nd half team under both Bobby and Fredi. Just look back at all the years where we were about .500 or worse at the all-star break and couldn’t seem to put it all together. Then we would go on a big run, like last year, in July or August. We shall see if history repeats itself…