Upton gone. Gattis gone. Heyward gone. The Braves will never score a run!
It hasn’t worked out that way, at least not through the first 51 games. Some among us figured there was little chance the offense could get any worse, no matter who left the team. Others figured it would indeed go from bad to historically, biblically awful.
The latter group so far has been wrong. The 2015 Bravos have scored 210 runs, or 4.1 a game, compared to 175, 3.4 a game, at this point last season. Today’s Braves are better than the NL average in runs and on base percentage and have struck out less than any other NL club.
There has been a dearth of home runs, yes. Atlanta is 14th, next-to-last, in circuit clouts. Of course, last year’s club finished 11th in the league in homers, so that’s not a severe drop. And it’s worth noting that the top six round-tripping teams in the league right now include the Reds, Rockies, Diamondbacks and Brewers. They’re all under .500.
Certainly, no one will confuse the 2015 Braves with any lumber companies or murderers rows. Yet the fears of an offensive Sahara were overblown, at least so far. And there’s no Brave putting up crazy, unsustainable offensive numbers. Yeah, Maybin could surely cool off. Pierzynski already has. KJ got hurt a couple weeks ago. That’s about it. Freeman has done about what’s expected, if not a bit less. Simmons has been pretty good. Peterson has surprised a little, but it’s not like he’s hitting .400.
Who knows? A break here or there, and Johns H. and C. could — could — face a tough decision or two come trading deadline time. If you’re, say, 4-5 games out of the wild card, do you move Grilli? Johnson? I’d say you don’t. Of course, that talk could end up being utter fantasy. We’ll see.
We’ll add lineups later. Suffice it to say with Miller facing Collmenter, the Braves have a decided pitching advantage. Doesn’t always matter.
Peterson 4, Simmons 6, Freeman 3, Markakis 9, Uribe 5, Pierzynski 2, Gomes 7, Cunningham 8, Miller 1
Did I miss something? Is Maybin hurt? Yes. Soreness in his quad and groin, according to the Internet. I love it when people say “acceding to the Internet.” I actually still hear that occasionally.