The Braves are 1-5, but it’s not yet an alarming 1-5

An actual April home run! (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

A baseball week is a tiny sample size, but for the 2017 Atlanta Braves, this Week No. 1 offered an encouraging sign. Their starting pitchers rank the third-best ERA in the majors and the best among National League teams. Those starters have worked three quality starts in six tries.

Last year’s ever-changing rotation managed 64 quality starts in 162 games. Only five rotations generated fewer. Last year’s starters had the third-worst ERA in baseball. That’s why the Braves bought Bartolo Colon and R.A. Dickey and traded for Jaime Garcia. They wanted more good innings. One week in, they’ve gotten them.

And now a few less encouraging words: The Braves are 1-5. Julio Teheran leads the majors in ERA — can’t do better than 0.00 — but has seen both starts end in losses. And, once again, the Braves rank last in baseball in runs. They’ve faced some good pitchers — Syndergaard, deGrom, Harvey, Cole — and haven’t scored much.

If there’s a positive in having scored the fewest runs, it’s this: They’ve hit the ball better than they did this time a year ago, when they as a team managed five April home runs. (They have five already, three coming Sunday.) Their OPS is .711, as opposed to .590 last April. This lineup should — should, I said — hit enough to be competitive.

The biggest issue of this admittedly early moment is the bullpen: It ranks last in the majors in strikeouts — 10 in 18 2/3 innings, which is not at all what you want — and clearly misses Mauricio Cabrera, who missed the last part of spring training with elbow soreness. When last season ended, the Braves believed that, with Cabrera and Arodys Vizcaino and the just-re-upped Jim Johnson and Ian Krol and Jose Ramirez, they had the makings of a nice end-game mix. Both Johnson and Ramirez blew saves Sunday.

The plan coming into the season: More good innings from the starters — and more offense from a lineup boosted by the late-season arrivals of Matt Kemp and Dansby Swanson — would mean more leads for the bullpen to protect. Two lesser starts by Mike Foltynewicz and then Dickey meant the Braves’ relievers didn’t have a lead to hold in the first two games in Pittsburgh, and when they got one Sunday they threw it back (twice).

Ergo, 1-5. In the grand scheme, it’s not a terrible 1-5. A year ago they were 0-5 after one week, soon to be 0-9 and then 4-17. Can’t see that happening this April. But I’ve been wrong a time or two.

Reader Comments 0

42 comments
parabrave
parabrave

Well when your 1 @ 2 hitters are at the BJ line you won't go very far.  At least J Peterson is surprisinly doing pretty darn good right now,

GTYJ
GTYJ

1-6.  At this percentage, they are on track to win 24 games this year!  Well done.  Karma's a bit%h

Clint_Reno
Clint_Reno

Ron Washington will be the manager of this team before all star break

sea8491
sea8491

alreadfy got my refund on the mlb package for this year

sea8491
sea8491


Just a new owner, please. A new owner of the likes of Jerry Jones for example.  Or an owner like the great late George Steinbrenner.  Owner with money, pride and ego!







jc_dawgs
jc_dawgs

Braves are leaving too many runners on base....maybe coming home soon will help them out.

Shon McEachin
Shon McEachin

@jc_dawgs The braves haven't actually left too many runners on base.  HOWEVER they have the worst ground out to air out ratio in the majors which has contributed to hitting into a lot of double plays.  Combine that with the facts that the Braves have played abysmal defense and the poor bullpen performance the team just can't overcome so many mistakes within such a short span of games.


The good news is that it is an extremely small sample size and not likely to continue to be so poor (although some aspects may not improve too much).

Kwajbraves
Kwajbraves

Snitker better start looking for a Delta email on his inbox .

ms1964
ms1964

There's never anything alarming about the Braves being 1-5.  If they were 5-1, I'd be concerned.

DawgNole
DawgNole

"The Braves are 1-5, but it's not yet an alarming 1-5"

_________________

That's ATL sports in a nutshell for you--seldom alarmed by its culture of losing.

ATLMike
ATLMike

@DawgNole Agreed. There's definitely a different culture in this city.

FineousMcDirtyBird
FineousMcDirtyBird

@DawgNole Oddly similar to the Athens sports culture of massive expectations followed by abject disappointment. 

CharlotteC.Tanner
CharlotteC.Tanner

 my best friend's mom makes 76 an hour on the internet and she has been without work for 7 months, the previous month her check was 15307 only working on the internet for a few hours a day, check

www.smart-job5.com

kevkat
kevkat

Am I the only one that notices their defense is horrific...Has the third baseman made a straight throw yet to first? Overrunning balls in the outfield, missing pick off throws to first, pass balls..albeit the knuckle ball will cause that from time to time..Just bad defense combined with bad relief pitching gets you gets your hard working starters 0 wins

Wink7
Wink7

Small sample size, but trending towards last year's start.

wcufan
wcufan

Yeah--need not get too alarmed--I think the Marlins will give us some relief and then back home.  All you Randy Quaids (Major League)  need to relax.

Goldie Martinez
Goldie Martinez

The opening seven game home stretch will be revealing.  If they drop 4 out of 7, I would say the outlook for the season and manager is bleak as April finishes out with more road games.

tennisbrave
tennisbrave

Maybe a good AAA team playing in the majors.  Fans keep paying those high prices to see this team play.

Goldie Martinez
Goldie Martinez

@tennisbrave At Turner I could justify $75-100 to be behind the plate.  Now its $130-200, might just take binoculars and do the upper deck under 20.

LOGS1973
LOGS1973

The Braves are again bad!! They will lose over 100 games

by seasons end! The owners should have spent money for

better players versus an overpriced stadium.

Shon McEachin
Shon McEachin

@LOGS1973 I think most people would take your money if you were betting the Braves would lose 100 games by season end.  Remember they didn't even do that last season when the team was vastly less talented than this year.

Preston Hannitized
Preston Hannitized

The wonder boy GM predicted that the Braves would be ready to compete when they moved in to the new ballpark. 


Really? I don't see that.

Saldiven
Saldiven

Why would I be alarmed? It's fairly close to what I expected. While there is some talent on the team, there is also a lot of unproven "potential," over the hill pitching, and not much worth talking about in the bullpen.

DawgNole
DawgNole

@Saldiven: "Why would I be alarmed? It's fairly close to what I expected."

_________________

The expectation of losing creates losing.

Thus the city's sad reputations as the "Losersville" of America's sports world.

khd713
khd713

I still have big questions about the manager. When they hired him last year with the "interim" tag it was fine and presumed to be a stabilizing move to get through the season. But then they went and gave him another contract, albeit a one-year deal. Not so sure that was a smart move, or that Snitker is up to the task. This was his first year running the spring training operation, and the team doesn't look close to ready to play. And I won't even get into the wisdom of pulling Teheran in his two starts, because I think any manager these days would have done the same. Question is, does that make it the right thing to do? It's just crazy how they pamper these starting pitchers, and the more they pamper them the more prolific the arm problems keep getting.

FineousMcDirtyBird
FineousMcDirtyBird

@khd713 Yeah, not sure why Snitker should get fired when he was given a bad team (just like Gonzales). It's not like he's coaching down the '27 Yankees out there. If he starts losing with talent, then you can fire him. Until then, pressure needs to be applied to ownership and upper management to invest in the product on the field (the one that Cobb mostly paid for).

ATLMike
ATLMike

maybe they should bring back bobby cox---this team is terrible

AMFILMSHD
AMFILMSHD

start writing about AUFC more.  cover the better franchise please.  the braves are pathetic.

FineousMcDirtyBird
FineousMcDirtyBird

@AMFILMSHD He will! As soon as he can come up with more ways to mock AU as he did in his last piece. Then he'll move on to saying Matt Ryan is overrated again...

GWJ0525
GWJ0525

The starters and Kemp have been the only positives so far.

FineousMcDirtyBird
FineousMcDirtyBird

Your point about the starting pitching would be great if the Braves had any starters who could consistently pitch past the sixth inning. But sure, the sabermetrics make this 1-5 start more of a moral victory *sarcastic voice*

FineousMcDirtyBird
FineousMcDirtyBird

You're only five games away from when you were begging for Fredi"s head last season. Do you remember the things you've written and your justification for writing them or is the selective amnesia the fault of the Braves PR staff that writes your columns?

Hagg
Hagg

Yes it is alarming. Terrible bench. Terrible defense. Terrible bullpen. Poor clutch hitting. More hit into DP's than any other team.