After an extended stretch of time in which they lost one of 20 series, the Braves lost all three series on their recent road-trip, finishing what looked like a manageable Florida-Washington-Cincinnati swing at 3-6. The once-fat lead over the Phillies has been trimmed to 2.5 games.
This road trip was especially frustrating because it seemed like every game followed a similar plot: the Braves would get runners on and strand them, whereas the opponents would score the moment they threatened. I’d like Elias to weigh in on this little statistical oddity: the Braves lost six of nine on their travels, but they had the same or more base runners in all nine games. All told, the Braves had 115 base runners in the nine games and scored 35 runs; their opponents had 92 base runners and scored 37 runs. A Brave who got on base had a 30% chance of scoring; a Marlin, National, or Red had a 40% chance of crossing home plate. My initial thought is that the Braves lack of power was exposed on the road trip, but that’s not the case. Not only did the Braves have significantly more base runners, but they also had more extra base hits: 28 to 22.
So how did the Braves go 3-6 despite getting more runners and and more big hits? Maybe this was just a stretch of bad luck. Over 162 games, every team will have a stretch in which its hits are spaced out in an unlucky fashion. Maybe the Braves lacked an Ecksteinian clutchitude that could be remedied by more Jeter-style icy stars and fist pumps. Maybe Bobby didn’t do his best managing, such as leaving the slumping Troy Glaus in a spot in the order in which he could do maximal damage in squelching rallies, or leaving a clearly tiring Jair Jurrjens in against the Reds to allow a 2-1 lead to morph into a 5-2 deficit, or pitching Jesse Chavez in a high-leverage situation. I should stop now.
Anyway, we see Johan Santana tomorrow. Yay!