there are no pushover teams in the NL this year. they are all capable of making it to the world series. The Braves have as good a shot as any of them. I think we will see this team play well in the postseason, although thats still no guarantee that they advance.
7 – Building depth has been a strength of Frank Wren and company. I like that the Braves have the depth to create favorable matchups. And I think we are going to see a lot of Kimbrel this postseason. I think he’ll have some outs of more than one inning, perhaps some of two full innings.
Great job Hammy! Does anybody think Chris Johnson is pressing? Maybe a little batting title drama? And is Beachy done? My shit in the dark is he plays an intracle part in the bullpen this post season. And we’ll all say “what would we have done if he hadn’t gotten hurt?”
This Braves team has been more of an up-and-down team than I can remember in past seasons. I know that all teams have hot and cool periods throughout the season, but this team seems to have consistently vacillated between being really hot (stretches where they go 12-1, 14-0, or win 18 of 22) and times when they play very badly, like losing 9 of 12 or something like that.
Now, most of the time this year, when they’ve had a rough stretch, they come back and win 8 of their next 11 or something. They break their slumps not just by getting back to playing .500 ball for a couple of weeks, but by playing more like .600 or .700 ball. This leads me to two different scenarios:
A: it’s good that the Braves are slumping a bit right now because that means that their hot streak will start soon. They’ve played very well against good teams this season and seem to rise to the challenge. And maybe this poorly-played September (though not as bad as 2011′s September) will give them pause to reassess their team and figure out what they DON’T need to be doing in the playoffs. You know, stuff like swinging at tons of pitches outside of the strike zone when a wild pitcher has just walked the previous two guys (Schafer and JUpton) and those guys moved up on a wild pitch. Stuff like Minor throwing grapefruits down the middle.
B: The Braves’ slump will continue into October and they won’t be able to right their ship. It doesn’t even have to be a frontline starter, but the #3/4 guys that do them in. If we draw LA, maybe we go 1-1 against Kershaw/Greinke, but we often don’t do well against guys like Ryu and Nolasco. Plus, the playoffs are a crapshoot anyway, so that takes away a couple of hope meter points right there.
I think it’ll be more of A. A lot of that is probably being a fan, but there’s also the fact that the Braves have played good teams really, really well this season, and I think their hot streak will come back.
And, btw, I didn’t enjoy having to root for the Nats last night, but I’ll have to continue to do it tonight and tomorrow. Ugh.