BS Report: May 9th
I am usually very positive about the Braves, but I have to admit the last three games – all losses – against the Dodgers have me down a bit. I know it’s still early-May, and there is still plenty of baseball left, but the Braves really weren’t competitive against the Dodgers. Now, this is the team with the best record in the National League. They have won the National League pennant two straight years. They’ve won their division six straight seasons. So, the Dodgers are the team the Braves are trying to knock down off the National League mountain. But just like last October, when the Dodgers beat them in four games in the divisional series, the games were not very competitive. We had hoped after that series last fall that the Braves would inch closer to the Dodgers, but it hasn’t happened – at least not yet. We hoped that 90-win team from a year ago would become a 95-to-100-win team this season, but it hasn’t happened – at least not yet. The Braves have got to find some consistency in the starting rotation. Believe it or not, the bullpen has evened out a bit. It has been more effective in the last few weeks compared to a shaky rotation. The offense can be great one day and then struggle the next. The Braves are now 7-12 against teams that have a winning record, so that’s a concern. Again, I repeat, I know it’s early and this team could still evolve more as we go along here, but if they are going to separate themselves in the National League East they can’t wait too long. Their longest winning streak has been four games. Their longest losing streak… has been four games. Unfortunately, this team is showing all the signs of being exactly what they are – a team around the .500 mark. Teams that are neither a winning team nor a losing team – but a team that stays around the break-even mark, can be tough to watch. They’ll have a great week and make you believe they are ready to turn the corner and be a winning team, and then the next week they’ll struggle and make you think they’re not going to have a winning record. Those types of teams struggle to turn that corner. That’s the kind of team we thought the Braves would have last year, but instead the record went from 72 wins in 2017 to 90 wins in 2018. They kind of skipped that in-between season and jumped ahead to win the division, which in turn made fans have higher expectations for this season. We hoped this team would be closer to the Dodgers, but they are just not there yet. The rotation shows signs, particularly with Max Fried and Mike Soroka, of being a strength. But when will Mike Foltynewicz get on track? What about Kevin Gausman, who has an ERA of 5.00 after seven starts? They can’t have inconsistency in the rotation and expect to do well. I say for the third time, it’s early. We will be at the one-quarter mark of the season after this weekend, so there is a lot of baseball left. But if the Braves keep losing to teams with winning records, this may not be the last time I use this script this summer.