We all understand the already-limited roster has been further depleted by trades and injuries. But tonight’s starting lineup, with Pierzynski and Maybin resting and Andrelton still out, must rival some from the 106-loss 1988 club. That team played .316 ball in the second half. Do that for an entire season and you lose 111 games. So it’s not like the ’88 Braves fell off a cliff after the break. After all, they lost their first 10 games and finished April 3-16.
Tonight our “heart of the order” is Gomes, CJ and Adonis Garcia. That trio is hitting a combined .221 with 9 homers and 29 RBI. Those would be pitiful power numbers for ONE middle-of-the-order hitter. Overall, the eight regulars tonight include at most two — Markakis and Peterson — who could be considered every day-quality major leaguers.
Of course, among the reasons we love baseball is that in one game, a AAA squad can beat the defending WS champs. We’ll see if that happens tonight.
Going back to 1988, it happens that on August 5 of that season those woeful Bravos also played a solid Giants team, and beat them 8-5 to move to within 34 games of .500. Yep. Thirty-four games under on August 5. But if you compare tonight’s 3-5 hitters to those of August 5, 1988, you’d have to say those from the late Reagan years were better. Gerald Perry, declining Murph, and Andres Thomas formed the murmerer’s row that Friday evening at FulCo 27 years ago. Perry hit .300 that season with 74 RBI. Murph hit 24 homers. No one on this team will come close to two dozen dingers.
Anyway, win tonight at the Bravos are 10 games under .500, so they’re still a damned sight better than the dreadful ’88ers. Don’t forget, though, that just three years later came the most memorable season by any team in Atlanta sports history.
Tonight’s gaggle of journeymen, strivers, hangers-on and rookies: Markakis, Perez CF, Gomes, CJ, Adonis, Peterson, Lavarnway, Castro and Wms Perez.
- Small apology here to San Francisco. I’ve used two mass murderers to represent that beautiful city. It’s a really nice place, but you have to be rich to live there. And I don’t dislike the Giants.