The Atlanta Braves Bullpen Is As Good As the Numbers Indicate

ATLANTA, GA - JULY 29: Kenley Jansen #74 reacts with Travis d'Arnaud #16 of the Atlanta Braves after the 5-2 victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks at Truist Park on July 29, 2022 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images)
ATLANTA, GA - JULY 29: Kenley Jansen #74 reacts with Travis d'Arnaud #16 of the Atlanta Braves after the 5-2 victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks at Truist Park on July 29, 2022 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images) /
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Adam Duvall #14 of the Atlanta Braves. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Adam Duvall #14 of the Atlanta Braves. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /

Braves Have Played a Lot of Close Games This Year

When you play as many close games as the Braves have this year, by nature, it increases your chances of having more close losses as they had on Wednesday.

Atlanta has played 41 games decided by 2 runs or less this year — that’s nearly 40 percent of their games. And they’ve played 68 games decided by 3 runs or less — that’s two-thirds of their games.

That’s a lot of close games, which puts a lot of stress on your bullpen at the end of games.

Despite that, the Braves are 25-16 in those 2-run games. That should tell you that more often than not, the bullpen is doing a great job of winning those close games.

By comparison, the Mets have played 40 games decided by 2 runs or less this year and are a very comparable 24-16.

The big difference is that the Mets have played 10 fewer games decided by 3 runs or less.

When a Braves reliever comes into a game late, they are being asked to be perfect every time out, and that’s not possible.

A.J. Minter has pitched in 47 games this year and allowed a run in 9 of those games (19%), and multiple runs in just 3 of those games (6%).

Kenley Jansen has pitched in 39 games this year and allowed a run in 11 of those games (28%), and multiple runs in just 2 of them (5%).

Newcomer Raisel Iglesias has allowed at least 1 run in 9 of 39 outings (23%) and multiple runs in 4 outings (10%)

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These guys aren’t perfect — even the best relievers aren’t. But the numbers show that the majority of the time they are getting the job done.