Open Thread, July 3, Bravos vs. Jeff Picos
“I hate this team.”
So I texted to CB last night when Hanson immediately pulled the plug on the Braves’ momentum. I’m sure psychologists have a term for the phenomenon of “I can badmouth my team/family/hometown, but you damn well better not.” That’s how I am with the Braves. And right now, I think we an all agree that we’re not feeling very upbeat about our squad.
In the comments of yesterday’s open thread, “Sharon Egan” mentioned the improbability of this team going on an extended run. He’s probably right. We simply don’t have the consistent starting pitching to do it. It’s not fair to compare any pitching staff to the Herculean ’93 Braves staff, but here goes.
That club went 54-19 after the all star break. That winning percentage over an entire season would equal 120 wins. That incredible second half was because of pitching, to start with, though the offense was strong as well. Look at these second-half stats from 1993:
Smoltz, 7-4, 4.27 ERA, averaged 6.9 innings per start
Glavine, 12-2, 3.55, 6.4 IPS
Avery, 9-3, 2.37, 6.6 IPS
Maddux, 12-2, 1.79, 7.5 IPS
Mercker, 1-1, 3.00, 5IPS
So on average, that team in the second half got a quality start, a starter pitching into at least the seventh inning. (Mercker made just six starts. The others all had at least 16.) Oh for that kind of work now. With this staff, nothing in that universe will happen. But on we go, with JJ on the hill, following one great start, one that was OK but looked like it could have been worse based on the number of lineouts and long fly balls.
Lose tonight and hope recdes still further.