The Atlanta Braves fought off a comeback from the Dodgers on Thursday night to protect their 88th win of the season. Atlanta has improved to 88-45 and now has a magic number of 16 to win the NL East.
There seems to be something about the number 16 and Atlanta Braves catchers. Travis d’Arnaud wears 16 currently. Even though d’Arnaud has been great in Atlanta, he has some work to do to catch Braves legend Brian McCann.
Brian McCann seems like one of those players who was greatly appreciated by his home fans but often overlooked or underrated by the rest of the league. If you are one of those people who question how good McCann was, hopefully, these numbers and accolades will erase your doubt.
McCann is a career .262 hitter with 282 home runs and over 1,000 RBIs across a 15-year major league career. 15 years in the big leagues is almost unheard of from a catcher other than Yadier Molina.
10 of McCann’s 15-year career was spent in a Braves uniform. Over this stretch, he had the most memorable seasons of his career. Between 2006-2013, McCann appeared in 7 all-star games. In addition, he added five Silver Slugger awards and finished 21st in MVP voting in 2010.
McCann had two separate seasons (2006 and 2008) where he finished the year with a batting average above .300. He was a great hitter but he did so much more for the Braves organization than just crush baseballs.
Brian McCann was a great defensive catcher as well. He may not have a Gold Glove Award but you do have to take into consideration he was battling Yadier Molina his entire career for that honor. He could, however, manage a baseball game well and call an effective game for his pitcher.
He was also a leader in the clubhouse. McCann was vocal with his teammates when he needed to be, stood up for them, and also led by example by playing the game “the right way.”
Brian McCann is loved and easily remembered by Braves fans but needs a little more respect from the rest of the league.
The Braves continue their weekend series with the Dodgers tonight. They will be looking for their 5th straight win to be paired with a Phillies loss so the magic number to win the division can drop by two.