Braves shutout streak ending vs. Red Sox reveals team's worst kept secret

The tides have turned for the Braves offense in 2023. How does Atlanta fix the offense before it's too late?
Atlanta Braves v Chicago Cubs
Atlanta Braves v Chicago Cubs / Michael Reaves/GettyImages

No current Atlanta Braves player is the son of a plumber to our knowledge, but it's certainly been hard times lately for the Atlanta offense. In 2023, the baseball world marveled at the Braves offensive kingdom that had been built by Alex Anthopoulos. This season has been much more of a grind to say the least.

Wednesday’s performance put into perspective just how different the Atlanta offense is of late. The blowout loss to Boston put an end to the Braves streak of avoiding a shutout in 182 consecutive games. The streak started back in May of 2023 and ended as the fifth longest in MLB history.

The abysmal one-hit performance yesterday created a sense of reality amongst fans regarding the 2024 Braves offense. And as a result a not so hidden secret about the club has come to light.

The 2024 Braves offense is a big step back from last season

After the entire lineup went cold in late April, many across baseball chalked it up to a weirdly timed cold stretch. As the star players remained in a slump, talk began about the possiblities of MLB messing with the baseballs once again.

No matter the validity to poorly timed cold stretches and deadened baseballs, one thing is clear. This year's version of the Braves offense can't possibly reach the heights of last season's historic team.

Last season the team tied the Major League record for home runs in a single season. This year they're tied for 16th in all of baseball in homers. Last year they sent the record for slugging percentage by a team. This year their team slugging percentage is down nearly .100 points.

Injuries and regression has taken a toll on Atlanta

Atlanta is known for playing their stars every single day. Sadly, they only got the oppritunity to do so once in 2024. Primary catcher Sean Murphy went down with an oblique strain on Opening Day. Just as he was getting ready to return, they lost the reigning NL MVP for the rest of the season.

Austin Riley has missed time as well and is having a tough time posting the numbers we're used to from him. The bottom half of the lineup has been a black hole at times, with regression coming hard for Orlando Arcia most notably. The streakiness of the bottom of the order hasn't been able to be hidden because the stars haven't performed up to expectations yet.

Outside of Marcell Ozuna and a recently semi-hot Matt Olson, numbers are down across the board. Now that Atlanta will do battle without Ronald Acuña Jr. they need regulars like Ozzie Albies, Michael Harris II, and Austin Riley to right the ship. The shutout streak ending was certainly overdue, especially considering how the offense has looked in the past month plus.

However, that doesn't mean this team doesn't have the talent to start another impressive streak tomorrow. We won't get the numerous offensive explosions like we got in 2023, but that doesn't mean this year's squad is incapable of saddling up and writing a much more enjoyable story.

Despite Wednesday’s efforts, it does feel like the 2024 Braves are close. The signs are there, as they currently lead the league in hard-hit percentage (44.5%), and rank second in average exit velocity (90.3 mph) according to Baseball Savant. Hopefully, they can get the bats rolling in Washington and become a feared offensive force once again.

More from House That Hank Built