Jul 1, 2014; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Braves relief pitcher Craig Kimbrel (46) delivers a pitch to a New York Mets batter in the ninth inning of their game at Turner Field. The Braves won 5-4. Mandatory Credit: Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports

Atlanta Braves: "We're going STREAKING!"

Winning. It seems like such a simple formula: score more than the other team.  The Braves have won 6 straight and 8 of their last 9.  While the offense has been a tiny bit better during this stretch (4.4 runs/game), let’s take a look at the real reason behind this run…

The Braves Bullpen

Collectively, the Braves’ bullpen, over the last 9 games, has been other-worldly. In 25 innings pitched during this winning stretch, the ‘pen has a 0.72 ERA and 31 strikeouts!

Here’s the individual breakdown…

Craig Kimbrel- 5 IP 7K 1BB o.00 ERA .269 OPS against

Jordan Walden- 4 IP 8K 2BB 0.oo ERA .494 OPS against

Shae Simmons- 4.2 IP 7K 0BB 0.00 ERA .000 OPS against

Luis Avilan- 4.1 IP 2K 0BB 2.08 ERA .375 OPS against

Anthony Varvaro- 4IP 3K 1BB 0.00 ERA .608 OPS against

Juan Jaime- 2 IP 4K 0BB 4.50 ERA .714 OPS against

Gus Schlosser- 1 IP 0K  1BB 0.00 ERA .000 OPS against

The rebound of Jordan Walden and the addition of Shae Simmons (who is just nasty!) has prompted this run as those two, collectively, have struck out 15 batters in 8.2 innings of work. Just last night, Shae entered in the 5th inning at a crucial point in the game as Mike Minor had already given up a 2-run home run in the inning, then allowed 2 more runners to reach.  With runners at 1st and 3rd and 1 out, Shae got Chris Young to fly out weakly to left-field and Travis d’Arnaud to strike out, preserving the lead, preserving the eventual win.

During this 9-game span the entire bullpen hasn’t allowed any inherited runners to score.  With the addition of a hope-to-be “new and improved” David Carpenter, the Braves bullpen look to haves their 7-9 inning shutdown swagger back.  With an offense that will be lacking Evan Gattis for quite a while, this turn of events is much needed and quite refreshing!

Go Braves!

Tags: Anthony Varvaro Atlanta Braves Craig Kimbrel Gus Schlosser Jordan Walden Juan Jaime Luis Avilan Shae Simmons

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