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!