I think we’re pretty much stuck with who we have for this season and probably a couple more. To change the way this team plays and is configured would nearly have to be a wholesale change of the lineup from power-centric to contact-centric or a mix of both power and contact hitters. And this doesn’t even address our pitching which seems all over the place in starting and middle relief.
I think what’s going on with Minor is in his head. I feel like he simply lacks the mental toughness to get though the rough times when his game is not on. I don’t know if he winds up being another Tommy Hanson or not but he seems to be following that template by leaving meatballs down the middle of the plate which turn into home runs.
So, Mariners pitch cautiously to LaStella maybe due to his 5 for 7 with bases loaded. We pitch less than cautiously to Morrison even though he’s almost batting .500 against Teheran. Just trying to understand baseball.
I always believed the big run could be coming for this team this year – until this past week. Things have gone so far beyond “there’s too much talent on this team on paper to be performing like this.” I’ve not seen a Braves team look this done since the end of the 2000′s teams.
Am I the only one who hasn’t given up yet? We’re on an 8 game losing streak and weren’t exactly playing great before that and the Nationals are still only 4 games up. They’re not great this year either. We’ve owned them for the past couple years and could easily win this upcoming series if not sweep it. The Nats have been playing .500 ball for a while and by the end of next week we could be in first place no sweat. Teams with ugly losing streaks make the post season every few years. It’s baseball. Losing happens a lot. There’s still a lot of season left. And we’ve already seen this team is capable of winning in streaks too.
Adam – I like the optimism, but I just don’t see it. The offense has shown no sign of finding itself 114 games into the season. The bullpen is getting worn out. And, this team is so young, the wear and tear of the season is likely not going to make them stronger in the stretch run. I hope I’m wrong.
Adam – I guess the question is given up on what? The division? Sure, the Braves could still win the division. But then what? Is that our ultimate goal? Because it really isn’t mine. We’ve been there. This team needs to be taking steps toward attaining the next level, and to me they are much farther away. Even if they won the division, do you think they have any chance of getting out of the first round? Winning more than 2 games in a series? I don’t see it. And the Braves really haven’t played well all year outside of their first 24 games, and that 9 game stretch. Just lucky to be in the NL East.
And digging into both of those strong stretches the Braves had:
Starting month they played 16 games against the Mets, Phils, and Marlins.
That 9-0 stretch came against The Phils, Mets, and D-Backs.
So even the success is rather unimpressive when you step back and look at it. They’re mediocre this year. It’s really no more complex than that.
Just seeing that the team is starting to show cracks…
The entire team is under performing when it comes to home runs. That was the big offensive contribution last year… we could “overlook” the strikeouts because of the home runs… this year, the home run fountain has dried up… but the strikeouts haven’t.
The starting pitching was very effective early when it was expected not to be. Minor was not a part during that period. I believe if Floyd didn’t get hurt, if he wasn’t a trade piece, he would have taken Minor’s place in the rotation. The other spots have been almost as good as they were early, but fewer runs scored have cost them.
The bullpen, save for Avilian, early was very effective. They have had members go on and off the DL, so it has been tough to define roles…
Our defense in places is stellar (Heyward, Simmons). BJ covers well. Freddie can pick it at first. La Stella has been better than advertised (heard at one point he might not be as good as Uggla). However, both BJ and Justin are a little lax on running balls down and tend to wait to see if they “have” to throw and then “airmail” the cut-off or throw to the wrong base costing the team extra bases to the runners. Now that runs are hard to come by, every little bit helps…
So, maybe I am being “a realist” to say “I’m going to have to see a turn around before I am ‘in’…”
Another side to this is, if your approach is “good pitching and solid defense”, that has to be paired with “timely hitting”…
Looking at the play-by-play, the last two games in each of the last three series shows the Braves don’t have that right now… The 8th & 9th inning of the last game against SD where we got the lead-off man on in each inning (single in 8th and double in 9th) and didn’t score show they practically gave it away…
And there would have been a big difference between 1-7 and 0-8…