Braves Offense Continues to Flounder, Fall to Phillies 7-0



To say that the Atlanta Braves offense is struggling would be an understatement. The fact that they were nearly no hit in Washington two nights ago by Nationals lefty Scott Olsen and were at the other end of a two hit shut out by 47 year old Phillies pitcher Jamie Moyer the next night puts it in perspective.

Entering play today the Braves have a .232 team average which is next to last in the National League ahead of only the Houston Astros. The Braves also find themselves in fourteenth place in runs scored ahead of only the Pirates and the Astros. So you are talking about one of the worst offenses in the National League. Compounding the problems are the absence of Brian McCann (rest, slump), Yunel Escobar (DL), and rookie standout Jason Heyward (groin) from the lineup. That is a lot of the punch missing from the lineup. Of course the Braves weren’t playing great when all of them were in the lineup either. Last night they managed but two hits both of which came from Troy Glaus who has started to show some signs of life.

Derek Lowe allowed seven runs over the course of five innings including a three run homer to Jason Werth in the third inning. If there was a bright spot for the Braves it was the play of the bullpen. Three Braves relievers combined to shut out the Phillies over the final three innings allowing only one hit. There is not much to be positive about though given the struggles of the offense.

The answer of course is the Braves need to get everyone healthy. The schedule is not going to get any easier as they have two more games in Philadelphia before moving on to Milwaukee for three. They finally will return to Turner Field on May 14th to take on the Arizona Diamondbacks.

The Braves currently sit at 12-17 which is dead last in the National League East. They have now lost six of their last ten contests and had they not swept the Astros would be in really big trouble. Still the great thing about Baseball is that it is a marathon and not a sprint. They just need to weather the storm and the schedule right now without allowing themselves to get buried any further in the standings. With the offense struggling I look for Bobby Cox to play a lot of ABC baseball and right now I think he should. They need to be bunting runners over and getting them in any way that they can. Of course that all starts with getting on base and as the old adage suggests you can’t steal first base.

Perhaps the potential return of Brian McCann to the lineup will be a shot in the arm for the Braves today as they take on Phillies and righty Joe Blanton.