It’s been the same story all year long for this Atlanta Braves team and yet nothing has really been done to change anything.
They say the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. Well, that’s exactly what has happened with the Atlanta Braves bullpen this year.
This is going to be more of a rant than a data-driven article, so I’ll go ahead and apologize now for those looking for an in-depth piece on just how bad this bullpen has been — stats aren’t really needed for you to know they’ve been terrible.
I will give you this number — 21. That’s how many losses this Braves bullpen has this year — a little over one-third of the team’s losses.
In 2019, over a full season, the Braves bullpen had 19 losses.
Wins and losses don’t mean a lot in the eyes of new-age analytics, but it doesn’t take an MIT grad to understand that’s not good.
But here is my rant, why has NOTHING been done to try and fix the issue?
Like I said, we’ve known this has been a problem the entire season — and some even knew it could be an issue coming into the year.
I’ll admit I thought the bullpen had the pieces to be pretty decent as long as A.J. Minter and Tyler Matzek’s breakout 2020 seasons were legit.
While Matezk’s strikeout rate is still elite, he’s given up nearly as many walks (23) as hits (24), so the command is an issue again.
Minter and Chris Martin are just giving up too many hits with opponents hitting over .250 against both of them. Hitters hit below .200 against each of them last season.
Back to the question — where is the help?
Alex Anthopoulos goes out and trades the team’s 12th best prospect for a bench bat in Joc Pederson, but yet STILL nothing has been done about the bullpen.
And how do the Braves lose their first game out of the All-Star Break? Because of the bullpen.
Charlie Morton struggled but hung in there and kept his team in the game. The offense came up with some big hits, including a huge insurance run late on a clutch hit by Orlando Arcia that I thought would put the game away.
But nope, not with this bullpen. They quickly give up the lead and then you know this team isn’t winning in extra innings — especially with the new rules.
Same story, different day.
The offense deserves their fair share of the blame for this season, but at least they have the excuse of injuries. This bullpen has just been bad from the beginning and we keep sticking with the same guys and hoping things will get better.
News flash — it won’t.