In some ways the Braves self-immolation in the second half has been a blessing. I’ve gotten more reading done lately. Last night I went out for drinks and dinner with my girlfriend. When got home and looked at the box scores I no longer had that “ugh, I wonder how bad they lost tonight” feeling as it has since been replaced by the dead assumption that they lost by a dozen or more thereby allowing me to be pleasantly surprised when they only lose by six or seven or something.
Really: rooting for a godawful team can be incredibly liberating.
But let us not pretend for a second that this weird feeling of zen relief means that the Atlanta Braves are anything other than horrifyingly terrible. Because boy-howdy they are. From Mark Bowman at MLB.com:
The Braves have lost 16 of their past 17 games, and they have now surrendered at least 15 earned runs in three of their past seven games. To put this alarming stat in perspective, they had allowed 15 earned runs in just 10 of the 3,948 games played from the start of the 1991 season through the beginning of this troubling stretch.
Bowman further notes that Braves’ starters have lasted fewer than five innings in seven of their past 14 games, and fewer than three innings in four of their past 11 games. They’re putting known arsonist Mike Foltynewicz back in the rotation next week and . . . that may actually improve things. It’s been quite a stretch.
So here we stand on September 4, and the Braves are only a game ahead of the Phillies for the worst record in baseball. But they’re charging hard:
- They currently have the worst run differential in baseball at -164;
- Since the All-Star break they are tied with the Tigers for the most runs allowed out of any team in baseball;
- For the entire season they have scored fewer runs than any team in baseball (and no one has played more games than they have);
- They have 83 home runs, which is 16 fewer than the next worst team and 102 fewer than the Blue Jays, who lead MLB in homers;
- They have the lowest OPS in all of baseball;
Congratulations to the Atlanta Braves. The crappiest team in the land.