Last night, my non-sports fan wife asked me, "So what's wrong with the Braves?" I answered that they're not hitting. I then qualified it by saying that they're "not hitting enough with men on base. " Truthfully, I wish I knew what the problem was. When I look at the Braves line-up, I see the makings of a good team, a team that needs breaks more than wholesale changes. Yes, there have been injuries...LOTS of injuries. There have also been a number of games that they should have won that they blew in the late innings.
Still, the pitching staff has the second best ERA in the National League. The second best!Hampton had a good start last night at Myrtle Beach and is supposedly one more minor league start before returning to the top club. This should improve the pitching staff even more. However , we're now 8 games under 0.500. This is nuts!
Is there a chance? Yes. Part of the reason can be traced to one thing...the Phillies. The Braves have now lost eight of nine to the Phillies, the same number of games they are under 0.500. Win half of those and we're in it.
There is still time, though. And this team, if healthy, is good.
On a Japanese baseball note, the Chiba Lotte Marines dropped the third game of three game series against the SoftBank Hawks. The score was 7-6, causing the Marines to miss the sweep. It was the second straight series win for the Marines, who are 4-2 since there All-Star break.