There's no doubt about it, the Braves' pitching staff has been bad in September

This has certainly not been a banner month for most (but not all) of the Braves' pitching staff.

Aug 7, 2023; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA;  Atlanta Braves starting pitcher Spencer Strider (99)
Aug 7, 2023; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; Atlanta Braves starting pitcher Spencer Strider (99) / Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

It is hard to be too upset if you are a fan of the Atlanta Braves in 2023. The Braves were the first team to clinch a spot in the playoffs, secured yet another division crown after a convincing series win over the Phillies, and seem like a heavy favorite to win the World Series this season.

However, after a terrible showing while getting swept by the Marlins over the weekend, it has become apparent that Atlanta's pitching staff continues to look pretty problematic in the month of September.

What has happened to the Braves' pitching staff in September?

In 15 games in the month of September, the Braves' pitching staff ranks 20th in all of baseball with just 0.9 fWAR. Their team ERA of 5.51 is even worse at 26th in MLB. Both the starting rotation and the bullpen are culprits here and it raises some genuine concern heading into the Braves' postseason run.

Charlie Morton and Spencer Strider have both struggled this month in the rotation along with most of the guys that the Braves have cycled through the fifth rotation spot outside of Allan Winans. Joe Jimenez, Raisel Iglesias, Kirby Yates, and Michael Tonkin have all had Septembers to forget out of the bullpen. Again, not ideal.

With that many arms struggling down the stretch, it is a legitimate concern heading into the playoffs. If the Braves truly have designs on making another deep run, they can't have two of their three best rotation arms and most of the backend of their bullpen pitching at their worst.

All is not lost for the Braves

While it certainly doesn't feel great right now to have the pitching staff getting torched and getting swept by a clearly inferior team like the Marlins, but some perspective is required. Atlanta was on the road and just thoroughly celebrated their division title ahead of the Marlins' series, so it is understandable that they weren't at their best. One thing to also keep in mind is that several of the guys that have really stunk it up pitching-wise aren't going to be on the Braves' postseason roster unless something goes VERY wrong over the season's final couple of weeks.

Moreover, not all of the pitching news has been bad in September. Max Fried and Bryce Elder have been more than reasonable and AJ Minter has looked the best he has all season long out of the bullpen. This is pretty clearly a tired pitching staff, but rest should be coming with seven games left against the lowly Nationals, the luxury of being able to skip some guys if need be, and a nice break after the regular season ends.

Atlanta still has home field advantage throughout the playoffs to play for the rest of the season, so they can't punt away too many games. However, this current stretch in September seems, at least for the moment, like a momentary hiccup instead of an issue that could be their Achilles' heel in October. At least, that is the hope.

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