(Inspired by Bill Maher)
We’re told strikeouts don’t matter.
Last year’s trade for J-Up and Chris Johnson was viewed as a test to that premise. The results are in, yet the zombie lie persists.
“There have been a lot of complaints about the team striking out too much on twitter and especially in forums like the AJC comments section,” according to a recent post in Talking Chop. “Personally, I think the amount of winning the Braves have done the past two seasons does a lot to prove that a high strikeout rate doesn’t actually make the team worse if the strikeouts are offset by other positives.”
And those positives would be what exactly?
The team’s success over the last two years has often come in spite of the offense. It’s not just a coincidence that the Braves rank 14th in strikeouts (or 2nd, for those who think strikeouts are innocuous) and 12th in runs. Last night, Johnson became the third Braves hitter, joining the brothers Upton, to reach 100 strikeouts. If Dan Uggla had remained a starter, there’d be four.
In 2003, when they led the NL in runs, only one Brave, Andruw Jones, struck out more than 100 times (125). B.J. will pass that total by the end of the week.
Strikeouts are not innocuous. Seems obvious at this point, but some presumptions refuse to die.