Short update since it's been a while since I wrote something. I watched the games against Tampa Bay and the two games against Arizona so far. Considering we lost 3 of those, and 2 of them we lost because the pitching imploded, I was very unimpressed with our staff. I can understand why John Hart wanted to get as many pitching prospects as we can, because this team can't pitch consistently. That's the hard truth. The even harder truth is that outside of maybe a handful of guys I'm not sure anybody on the staff is really MLB ready.
So how bad is the bullpen that keeps blowing games for the Braves? Right now the Braves relievers have a 4.20 ERA which puts them 24th in the league. But where does that rank for Braves teams in the past? The only bullpen that has been worse by ERA than this one in recent history was the 2008 Atlanta Braves pen that finished with a 4.25 ERA in 21st place in the majors. In terms of rank, no bullpen since 2000 has finished worse than 24th in the league.
Do you remember the 2008 Braves? Oddly they have a ton in common with this current team. They only won 72 games all season, and they finished in 4th place in the division. Here's who was pitching on that ill-fated team. The starters were Jair Jurrjens, Jorge Campillo, Tim Hudson, Jo-Jo Reyes, Charlie Morton, and a very old Mike Hampton and Tom Glavine. John Smoltz also pitched for like, two seconds on that team. The relievers were Jeff Bennett, Blaine Boyer, Buddy Carlyle, Will Ohman, Manny Acosta, Juan Tavarez, Mike Gonzalez, Vladimer Nunez, Royce Ring, Chris Resop, and Rafael Soriano.
That team was awful. The only upsides to that squad were Brian McCann, Chipper Jones, and Martin Prado were all in the starting lineup. That was the year we traded away Mark Teixeira to the Angels. Nothing went right in 2008, and it was the worst year in terms of wins we'd had since the turn of the millennium. And we may beat that this year. That's how bad this bullpen is, it reminds me of the 2008 team that lost 90 games. Oh, and the worst team in recent memory was the 1990 Braves that only won 65 games. With 46 games left and 52 wins in the books, I don't see this Braves team being that bad, but they will have to win more than 1 out of every 4 games the rest of the way, and that's what they lost in the last 4 games I watched.
So how bad is this Braves bullpen? It's likely the worst we've seen in 15 years at least. Which is saying something. Because if I have to go back much further than that, we're getting dangerously close to the 1980s Braves. And that's nothing we want to remember or see again.