Sixteen and Four


Mandatory Credit: Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

Sixteen and Four.

That’s the Braves record for the twenty consecutive games played since the All-Star break.  There probably are not enough superlatives that can be said about this performance… but we’re gonna list several here, because it’s honestly pretty awesome.

At the All-Star break, Atlanta held a six game lead on the Nationals (easily the best in baseball then).  It’s now 15.5 games large.  All other first place leads combined add to 16.5 games.  The Braves were taking some criticism (including from this author) for two+ months of playing mediocre baseball and allowing the rest of the division to linger within reach of a short hot streak.  No longer.  They are kicking butt and taking names:  those names including the Cardinals, Rockies, Phillies and Nationals in consecutive series sweeps.

‘Second half’ stats of note:

  • The team is second in the majors in fWAR (4.2) [Dodgers*, 4.6]
  • The team is third in homers (24)[Blue Jays, Red Sox]
  • The team is tied for first in total hits (193).
  • The team is first in runs scored (105).  No other team is above 100.
  • They are also first in RBI (101).  Cardinals are second with 95.
  • The Braves held those Cardinals to 1, 0, and 2 runs in their three-game series.
  • Strikeouts a problem, you say?  The K-rate is down to 19.7%.  It was 22.8% in the first half.
  • TeamOBP and slugging percentages are .343 and .422, respectively.
  • That leads to a team OPS of .765 (third in the majors, behind Toronto [.777 in the DH league] and the Dodgers [.768])
  • At the break, the team’s run differential was +78.  It’s now +121, third in baseball and only those three teams (with St. Louis and Boston) are above +60.
  • This 13-game win streak is the longest in the majors within a single season since Oakland’s 20 game streak in 2002 (@MLBStatoftheDay)

* yes, the Dodgers now own a 16-3 record since the All-Star break (and we appreciate them sweeping the Nationals as well)…but they had a day off on July 28th!

Pitching numbers:

  • Overall ERA:  6th (3.00)
  • Homer rate allowed:  6th best
  • Groundball percentage:  7th highest (47.6%)
  • Walk rate:  8th best
  • Strikeout rate:  2nd best
  • I hate the FIP stat, but they’re 2nd even on that list (2.82)
  • Bullpen homers allowed:  ZERO.
  • Bullpen Left-on-base rate:  2nd best (87.1%)
  • Check this out:  bullpen ERA… 2.37.  That’s not only first, but first by more than half a run.  And that’s a full-season stat!
  • Okay, just the second half?  1.23 ERA from the bullpen.  First by another mile.  Second place is KC with 1.93.
  • Also important:  tied for 8th fewest innings pitched from the bullpen for the season.  That helps a bunch…

Some individual stats:

  • Justin Upton is hitting .342 and OPSing .985 – with five homers (tied for third in majors).
  • After last night’s outburst, B.J. Upton is hitting .476 and OPSing 1.093.
  • Jason Heyward:  .281, .406 OBP.  That leadoff thing is working for him.
  • Chris Johnson has raised his average by hitting .370 since the break.
  • Brian McCann.  Okay, he’s only hitting .231… but has 4 homers.
  • Even Joey Terdoslavich is hitting .346 in 30 plate appearances
  • In all of this, it’s actually easy to overlook Freddie Freeman‘s .324/.900 OPS
  • In short:  the entire lineup is working… yes, even Dan Uggla, who despite hitting .151 has three jacks.

This is exactly the kind of outburst we thought this team capable of as the season started… and when they opened 13-2.  It’s been a fun three weeks.  Now let’s see whether that can carry deep into October.