The Atlanta Braves are winning without aces so far in 2024

Atlanta's bullpen and offense have been incredible so far this season.

Washington Nationals v Atlanta Braves
Washington Nationals v Atlanta Braves / Todd Kirkland/GettyImages

The Atlanta Braves have not gotten the sort of dependability we thought we would see from their two aces at the top of the rotation. After two starts, Spencer Strider has a 7.00 ERA and a damaged UCL.

Max Fried’s walk year has started about as poorly as it could go. In his first start, he had the shortest outing of his career. He gave up three earned runs in just two-thirds of an inning on two hits and three walks.

Last night against the Diamondbacks, Fried allowed seven earned runs (eight total) on 10 hits over just 4.1 innings. What is wrong with Max Fried?!

Strider had a rough start during the home opener and the bullpen/offense picked him up to claim a dramatic come-from-behind, walk-off win in the 10th inning.

In a similar fashion, last night, the Braves overcame Max’s poor outing to storm back and claim victory from the jaws of defeat.

We all know about the offense. The Atlanta Braves have the highest team batting average and the fourth-highest OBP so far in the young season. They appear to have picked up right where they left off last season. This lineup is deep and never seems to end.

However, the bullpen is also carrying quite a load thus far in the young season. The Braves bullpen has a 2.10 ERA with stellar performances from Jesse Chavez and company. Aren't we all thankful to have Jesse Chavez back for one more season?

Chavez came to Max Fried’s rescue in the second game of the year and he came to Strider’s rescue in the home opener on Friday night. He helped keep the Braves in the games so they could mount their comebacks.

Last night, we saw Dylan Lee bail out Max Fried by pitching 2.2 scoreless innings and setting up the comeback for the offense. He was able to hand the game off to A.J. Minter and closer Raisel Iglesias to seal the victory.

Pierce Johnson has pitched in four games and we’ve won three of them. His breaking ball has been filthy and Snit has shown he trusts him in clutch situations.

The Braves have been blessed with a stellar bullpen for many years now and the 2024 version has already proved its worth in just seven games.

Atlanta Braves relievers (first seven games)

  • Tyler Matzek: 2.1 IP, 0.00 ERA
  • Raisel Iglesias: 3.0 IP, 0.00 ERA, 1 SV
  • Dylan Lee: 6.0 IP, 0.00 ERA
  • Jesse Chavez: 5.0 IP, 1.80 ERA, 1 W
  • Pierce Johnson: 4.0 IP, 2.25 ERA, 2 W
  • A.J. Minter: 4.0 IP, 2.25 ERA, 1 W
  • Joe Jimenez: 2.2 IP, 3.37 ERA
  • Aaron Bummer: 3.0 IP, 9.00 ERA

A phenomenal bullpen has allowed the Braves to overcome struggles from the rotation. The 2023 team had plenty of issues in the rotation but they were still one of the best teams in baseball, thanks to the record-breaking offense and a reliable group of relievers.

So, we don’t know if Chris Sale will be able to re-capture his glory days. We don’t know if this is the year Father Time kicks Charlie Morton in the groin. We don’t know if the Braves will have to go the entire year without their star pitcher. We don’t know if something is wrong with Max Fried. But we still know that regardless of all that, the Braves have a shot.

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