Braves at 4-16? We’ve seen it before (though not lately)

Atlanta Braves' Drew Stubbs, right, celebrates his three-run home run at home plate after also hitting in Hector Olivera, left, and Tyler Flowers, center, during the fourth inning of a baseball game against the St. Louis Cardinals, Sunday, April 10, 2016, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Amis)

This happened 17 days ago. The Braves haven’t hit a home run since. (John Amis/AP photo)

When last the Atlanta Braves were 4-16 — the year was 1988 — these were the pitchers who’d beaten them: Mike Bielecki, Greg Maddux, Alejandro Pena, Tim Leary, Fernando Valuenzuela, Orel Hershiser, Nolan Ryan, Jim Deshaies, Hershiser again, Tim Belcher, Mike Scott, Bob Knepper, Danny Jackson, Dwight Gooden, David Cone and Don Carman.

It’s an impressive list. Five had won or would win Cy Young awards.  (The top three vote-getters for the National League’s 1988 Cy Young would be Hershiser, Jackson and Cone.) Two would make the Hall of Fame. Three would become Braves.

When last the Atlanta Braves were 4-16, they opened their season 0-10. The first pitcher they beat was Don Sutton. No idea what he’s doing these days.

I present this not entirely pertinent information because … what else is there to say about these Braves? They’re on pace to win 32.4 games. Being kind, let’s round it up to 33. That would be a full-season record of 33-129, which would be the worst in modern baseball annals — and by “modern” we mean post-1900 — BY NINE FLIPPING LOSSES. They’re on pace to hit 24.3 home runs, and even that numbing stat is flattering.

Freddie Freeman hit a homer off Max Scherzer in the first inning on Opening Day. Adonis Garcia hit a home run, also off Scherzer, in the fourth inning that day. The Braves have since played 179 innings; they’ve hit one home run. (Drew Stubbs off Adam Wainwright, fourth inning, April 10.)

The Braves are last in the majors in homers and runs and OPS, second-to-last in batting average, fourth-to-last in on-base percentage, fifth-to-last in ERA. If there’s any consolation to be taken from this latest 4-16, it’s that they’ve occasionally come close. They’re 1-5 in one-run games, 1-3 in extra innings. The 1988 Braves came close less often: They were 1-3 in one-run games — Tom Glavine lost 1-0 to Scott in the Astrodome — and 0-1 in extra innings. So there’s that. Hooray for that.

On a more somber note, the 1988 Braves hit more home runs on Opening Day — four, the clouters having been Ozzie Virgil, Ken Oberkfell, Gerald Perry and Andres Thomas — than their 2016 brethren have in 20 games. There’s that, too.

Further grim reading:

The Braves just played a riveting game. Didn’t win, but still …

The Braves can’t respond to losing by rushing their prospects.

10 not-so-fun facts about the not-so-hot Braves.

We ask again: What has happened to Julio Teheran?

A drop and a bullpen flop put a stop to the Braves’ winning streak.

Progress! The Braves are giving us moments.

Fredi G. and the four-out save: It’s getting weird, folks.

Fredi is managing as if he wants to be fired.

At 0-7, the Fredi Gonzalez Watch is officially on.

A word to Braves fans: Don’t get discouraged.

These Braves weren’t built to win. Good thing, seeing that they’re 0-5.

Trust the process? The Braves absolutely do.

Reader Comments 0

17 comments
Paul R Denault
Paul R Denault

At this pace, the Braves will lose their 100th game on August 20th against the Nationals at home.

Steven Oliver
Steven Oliver

I'm 58 years old and the Braves have sucked for almost half of my life. College football kicks off in 128 days. I focus on what matters. Chop Chop

Tommy Jones
Tommy Jones

Hawks are up 3-2 in the playoffs. Who cares about baseball?

DNorth
DNorth

Get used to it ... the team will never be exceptional because the corporate owners won't allow it.  Not overtly, but because the team is an asset and it has an expected profitability margin to maintain, they'll never be allowed to have the payroll get large enough to attract top free agents.  When the payroll gets too high, it eats into the profit margin and the best way to maintain the margin is to cut payroll.


Oh, they'll get decent, because the young players eventually will raise the bar, but then they'll reach the stage where they hit arbitration and/or free agency, they'll get traded for more prospects or be allowed to walk and the crap cycle will start again.


Yeah, I read the story where they supposedly lost 20 million bucks last year.  Right ... I'll file that one right behind the one about how Cobb County attracted them in the first place.


They'll never be close to how good they were until Liberty sells them, and they won't sell them once the free money machine starts up in Cobb.

Greg Sharp
Greg Sharp

Braves mathematically eliminated before Memorial Day!

Re Al A T
Re Al A T

There is no excuse for professional baseball players to be completely inept at all phases of the game. If this roster is this bad now keep rotating players back to the farm system and bring up some farm hands. Sticking with an anemic bunch of not so braves will stick in the craw of the fan for years to come. Bad price to pay for failure which is not acceptable considering the public is footing the bill!

Jpace
Jpace

I predicted several weeks ago that the Braves would lose over 100 games this year. Based on their spring training record, that number could be as high as 124 losses. Based on their current record, they will lose 130 games. The "Johns" who run the team have a scapegoat in Fredi G. so he will probably be sacrificed. And maybe he deserves it...but the real problem rests with the Johns. This is the team that they built and I'm hopeful they are enjoying watching this pathetic team play. Notwithstanding JS's HoF credentials, he's been asleep at the switch for the last few years. We deserve better...and apology and a transparent explanation might be a good start.

TrueFan1
TrueFan1

Again, The Braves will be mathematically eliminated from the playoffs by July 1st.

Juanita Wills
Juanita Wills

We are a comeback team, so go show them ,. GO BRAVES

Dan E. Magee
Dan E. Magee

Let's build them a BILLION dollar stadium. Maybe then they won't suck. Oh wait ...

Greg Childre
Greg Childre

Dang it's simple listen to Greg Walker. If he says hit it out. He means out of the park!!!

Biff_Pocoroba
Biff_Pocoroba

Wake me up when Liberty Media's no longer in the picture.