Braves’ loss to Cubs was total embarrassing team effort beyond awful error on pop up

One play didn't cause the Braves to lose on Tuesday against the Cubs. It was a collective disappointment.
San Diego Padres v Atlanta Braves - Game One
San Diego Padres v Atlanta Braves - Game One / Kevin C. Cox/GettyImages

Like most sports fans, Atlanta Braves fans often want to distill wins and losses down to one moment or one player's performance. A classic recent example is Ronald Acuna Jr. who has been scuffling to start the season and then saw fans (and some writers even) turn on him when he made an brutal error in the outfield. There are a lot of reasons why the Braves lost that game, but those moments often resonate the most.

In Tuesday's Braves loss against the Cubs, we had another instance of something exactly like this. In the sixth inning, Atlanta was clinging to a one-run lead and Zack Short found himself in position to catch a routine pop-up. Instead, the ball popped out and found grass. Back-to-back singles tied the game after that and the Braves lost in extras with Short playing the villain on this night.

However, the truth is not so simple.

The Braves' inconsistency was on full display in loss to Cubs

Was Short's error bad? Of course it was, and so was Acuna Jr.'s for that matter. Dumb plays are dumb and often bite you. However, Short didn't throw two bad sliders to the next two hitters to give up the lead. Short didn't go 1-21 like the top half of the Braves' lineup did on Tuesday and it takes a real group effort to somehow go 0-14 with runners in scoring position like the Braves did.

The problem the Braves have right now is that everything seems to be out of sync. When the pitching is on, the offense struggles. When the offense has a good game, the pitching struggles. When the game is close, the bullpen makes things (at best) far more interesting than it needs to be. Atlanta is still a very good team (they are still 27-18 after all although commenters would have you believe they are in last place), but they definitely have areas to get ironed out.

The funny thing is that we have to tell this story EVERY year. 162 games is a long schedule and every team has stretches where they don't play well. Every. Single. Team. What the Braves have been better at than almost any other team in the league is bouncing back from those slumps and putting up great season after great season. Still, it would be nice if everyone could get going again and the Braves could get Austin Riley back sooner rather than later.

More Braves News from House That Hank Built