Sunday, April 9, 2017

Atlanta Braves Week One Recap

To avoid burnout this year, I'm going to be focusing on the Braves week by week rather than game by game. Why? Because I think this is still a rebuild period so isolating one game at a time will be more frustrating than looking at the positives and negatives of the whole week.

Unfortunately in Week One, the Braves had a record of 1-5 and blew several leads to get there. I can't say I'm upset with the team in general, I'm upset with a lot of different things that went wrong in different ways to lose all those games. Let's take a look at the Good, Bad, and Ugly of Week One.

THE GOOD:
  •  Starting pitching was top 10 in the league. The starters had a combined 2.64 ERA in 6 games across 34.1 innings. Frankly, that's excellent and I can't really demand any more from the starters to help us win games. Except they go exactly zero wins thanks to the rest of the team.
  • Freddie Freeman is raking. Freddie has a 1.085 OPS and he hit 2 homers in the same game this afternoon. The crazy thing is that in the one game the Braves actually won, Freddie went 0-5 with a walk.
  • Nick Markakis is also raking. Nicky Kakes is hitting with a .900+ OPS, two doubles, and a triple. The only thing that's keeping him from the stratosphere is his 9 Ks in one week.  
THE BAD:
  •  The Braves are 10/53 with runners in scoring position. That's a .189 average when a runner is at least on second base or better, and that's around 25th in the majors. It's not a surprise when you're blowing that many chances
  • The Braves have hit into 10 double plays in one week. That's top 3 in the majors in most double plays. That could be ugly, but here's the thing, you have to get a bunch of runners on base in order to hit into double plays. But the Braves did hit into 145 of them last year, which was #3 in the MLB. And they are on pace to do that again.
THE UGLY:
  • The Braves bullpen has a 5.97 ERA through the week. That's bottom 10 in the majors and it's the even worse combined with the next ugly stat.
  • The Braves have committed 7 errors in 6 games. That may be dead last in the majors when the stats all get posted tomorrow, but it's certainly in the bottom two teams if not dead last. What makes it worse is that the errors directly lead to SIX unearned runs. That's an unearned run a game, and that's unacceptable.
  • Brian Snitker is making awful moves. I can forgive a lot of things from a manager, but there's a few things that get my riled up more than anything. One of them is pulling a pitcher who is obviously dealing, and he's under 90 pitches, for a bullpen we all know is questionable. The entire reason the Braves lost the Sunday game against the Pirates is because Snitker yanked Julio Teheran with 87 pitches going into the 8th inning, the pen gave away a 2 run lead, and then eventually lost the game. The pen sucks. Let the starters go deep where we can.
So Week One is pretty much a total bust. Luckily there's like 30 more of these. OK not really but it's dang close because baseball is a marathon, not a sprint. So I'm not going to go bat-blank-crazy over a week, but I'd like to hope we can actually field the ball, catch the ball, and throw the ball next week. Also, for heaven's sake stay out the bullpen or I'm going to start calling it the pigpen.

GO BRAVES!

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