Atlanta’s alarming numbers
The Atlanta Braves are sitting pretty with 13 games left before the All-Star Break.
The club has compiled a 48-34 record through 82 games played this season, including a six-game lead in the National League East, largest division lead in the Majors.
Atlanta is coming off of its second best month so far, including the current three-game winning streak after sweeping Arizona.
Though the team is having a successful season, there are reasons for concern when September and October arrive.
Sure, the Braves are third in the league in home runs (102), 10th in OPS, and 13th in runs, but other offensive categories are alarming.
The Braves were shutout four times in June making the team the most shutout team in the MLB with 11. Ranking 20th of the 30 teams in hits, Atlanta has struck out 723 times this season, second only to Houston.
The worries don’t stop there. Pitchers Tim Hudson and Julio Teheran both have batting averages higher than center fielder B.J. Upton. Teheran is only .011 points lower than the average of second baseman Dan Uggla.
Uggla, whose contract runs through the 2015 season, is on pace to have the worst season of his career. Only 254 at-bats into this season, Uggla already has a team-high 102 strikeouts. He is also on his way to career-lows in hits, runs scored, and RBIs. His struggles do not end at the plate. With a team-high 10 errors, he is on path to a career-high.
Combine all of these issues with the fact that the Braves have $9.25 million in salary on the disabled list right now. Two of the players, Johnny Venters and Eric O’Flaherty, on the DL currently were major pieces to the bullpen in 2012. Both are out for the rest of the year after having Tommy John surgery.
It is hard to see a team with the strikeout numbers, low number of hits, and high profile players being out-hit by pitchers that the Braves are seeing make a late season run. Hopefully, the team can make a change in the statistics for the better and keep the success rolling.
After the 14 straight division championships, the last in 2005, Braves fans are ready to see them get back to that position, as well as making it to the World Series. Atlanta hasn’t seen the team reach the World Series since the ’99 season, despite having the talent year after year.
This season seems to be something special, but there is still a lot of baseball left to be played. As a fan, I’m keeping my fingers crossed.