If the Braves are going to make a run at .500 this season, now is the time. The Giants are abysmal, an aging collection of underachieving veterans facing a rebuild they seem reluctant to undertake.
A few odds and ends:
Braves starters have a 3.06 ERA in the past 10 home games, a stretch which began the day after Bartolo Colon’s last start. Coincidence? Hardly.
Colon is pitching Wednesday but fortunately his return isn’t forcing the demotion of Sean Newcomb. He’s scheduled to take the mound on Thursday.
The Braves have 31 wins on June 19. They didn’t record their 31st win last year until July 10.
That improvement would seem to bode favorably for Brian Snitker, who is without a contract in 2018. But would the Braves be better off had they hired Bud Black, who’d led the Rockies to first place in the NL West on the backs of a rotation filled by rookies? You’d think a team rebuilding through pitching would have pounced on a manger known for developing hurlers. Considering his ties to John Hart, I’m at a loss for why the Braves went with Snitker. While it’s clear Snit is a great communicator, I have a hard time overlooking all the bunting, curious line-up constructions and his affinity for Adonis.
It’s a pretty safe bet that Black or another rookie skipper, Arizona’s Torey Lovullo, will be named manager of the year. There’s plenty of debate about how much impact a manager truly has. For Snitker, the argument would seem to focus on whether his impact is a negative one.