The Braves are two games under .500 and they've been outscored on the season, but they are ahead of their opponents in just about every major category. The Braves have more hits, total bases, doubles, homers, while striking out significantly fewer times than their opponents. The team has a better on-base percentage and a better slugging percentage than its opponents. This team should be a game or three over .500. Do we blame bad luck again? Is Bobby Cox in the "Bobby Bowden after the 2000 season" stage of his career? Our collective grumbling after losing another series to the Nats aside, this isn't a bad team. If Frank Wren was able to rebuild the starting pitching staff into the formidable unit that we can trot out every day, then we should have some optimism that he can do the same with the woeful outfield this winter.
Peter Moylan leads the NL in appearances. Mike Gonzalez is third, Eric O'Flaherty is sixth, and Rafael Soriano is 19th. We have four reliable relievers and because we have a team with very good pitching and minimal offense, those four pitchers throw seemingly every day. The nightmare scenario for the Braves is this: they have a hot streak in the next several weeks to get to the precipice of first place; Wren mortgages a little of the future to get one more outfield bat; and then the arms fall off of two or more of our four relievers in the final six weeks of the season, leaving the Braves in third place again.