“I don’t know which is more discouraging, [the Braves’ defense] or Chickens.” –EB White
Maybe I took some creative liberties with that EB White quote (he was really talking about literature).
And maybe that wasn’t as funny as I thought it would be when I googled “discouraging quotes.”
And maybe I am just too lazy to get rid of what is becoming an introduction full of incessant rambling.
But one thing that is definitely not a “maybe” is that the Braves’ defense has entrenched itself in a deeper rut than their sometimes anemic offense has ever found itself in 2010.
With the boot-fest that was the opening game of a three-game set against the Astros, I decided to take the initiative to check out the box scores of the Braves’ month of August (nine games). What I found wasn’t pretty.
In those games the Braves have committed no errors only twice and have seen the following totals from the other games: one, two, one, two, two, two, and three errors.
Add that up, and it’s 13 errors in nine August contests.
Overall, the boys from Hotlanta are–in newspaper-box-score-style–(5-4) for the month.
In games with no errors, they are (2-0)–I’m continuing this theme throughout for the sake of “prettiness.”
With one error, they are (0-2).
And with two or more, miraculously, the Braves are (3-2).
Now, that might indicate that the Braves are alright with this shotty, at best, defense.
But, eventually, as with what happened in a 10-to-4 route at the hands of the Astros, the E’s are going to start catching up with the playoff-hopeful Braves.
Those one-run decisions are going to start swaying in favor of opponents more and more (for the record, the Braves are (16-17) in those types of games).
And these now-familiar comeback-kids will have fewer and fewer opportunities to work their magic.
There’s no one individual to point at, either. Troy Glaus has made his share of blunders.
Alex Gonzalez, despite quite a few spectacular efforts, has booted a grounder here and there.
Brian McCann has thrown a ball or two away.
And Chipper has mishandled a few hops at the hot corner.
And the other four regulars on the field haven’t exactly been flawless, themselves.
Now, that’s not to say it’s time to leap off the Braves’ bandwagon just yet (even with the surging Phils lurking).
After all, they have found a way to win a majority of these games–no matter how tiny that majority may be.
But some work has to be done with the leather if the Braves hope to win the “close ones” and surge at least somewhat comfortably into the postseason.
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