Monday, April 14, 2008

The Best 5-7 Baseball Team on the Planet

The Braves are 5-7. They have the run differential of a 7-5 team. They are second in runs scored and 5th in team OPS. They're fifth in runs allowed and third in opponent's OPS. They have had a grand total of two bad starts: one from Chuck James in Colorado (a recipe for disaster if there ever was one - an extreme flyball pitcher at altitude) and one yesterday when Tom Glavine injured his hamstring. The starting rotation looks much better than last year, although it is brittle as one would expect from a rotation based around four aged pitchers. The bullpen might be a partial explanation for the team's dreadful record in one-run games, but they don't look that bad to me. Chris Resop ("Poser" spelled backwards) is the only guy in the pen who looks a little out of his depth. The lineup looks pretty good. Mark Teixeira isn't going to hit .213 all year, Yunel is off to a great start, and Mark Kotsay hasn't been a total bust with the bat so far. The only negative is that Francoeur looks like he's hacking at everything again.

Overall, I find it hard to write about the Braves in April because I am constantly having to resist the urge to draw conclusions off of a very small sample size. That said, I'd give the team a solid B+ for the first two weeks, even though they have a losing record. There isn't an obvious weakness to the team, other than the fact that they don't have six or seven reliable starters (just like every other team in baseball).

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