We’ve known since the beginning of the year this team had no margin for error (or errors, in the case of Dan Uggla last night). We thought the bullpen was going to offset some of the other weaknesses but it has sprung a few gaping leaks. Kimbrel is still one of the game’s best relievers, if not the best, but he’s having probably his worst season. And with no depth behind him and an offense that fluctuates between flaccid and mediocre, the Braves just can’t overcome.
Just like when Freddie is slumping. The Braves simply can’t afford it, despite the yeoman efforts of Jay Hey and, at least when he’s hitting at home, Justin Upton. Deeper teams can survive a slump by their star but the Braves clearly cannot. Not when Chris Johnson, who’s batted either clean-up or 5th in 47 of the Braves’ 59 games, has a .268 OBP and .327 slugging percentage Gattis has picked up some of the slack but he’s on the bench usually twice a week.
At least TLS has added some life to the bottom of the order. Meanwhile, the Oafbatross continues to suck the life out of a roster spot. If a .490 OPS and Caminiti-at-1B-esque defense can’t overcome FW’s pride, nothing will.
Hopefully Harang will keep confounding expectations. He’ll likely need to pitch deep into the game if the Braves are going to avoid a series loss.
Heyward 9, BUpton 8, Freeman 3, JUpton 7, Johnson 5, La Stella 4, Simmons 6, Laird 2, Harang 1