Season in Review: Atlanta Braves

A continuation of the series of retrospectives looking back at the regular season and how teams fared. They will be presented, from first to last, in order of their run differential as given by the BaseRuns formula and adjusted for strength of schedule, which I feel is the best measurement of a team’s actual talent level.

Number Eighteen: Atlanta Braves

Last time when we looked at the Texas Rangers, I remarked how they registered about the exact same (there was a slight decimal difference) amount of runs scored and allowed according to BaseRuns, but that they were on opposite ends of the ranking spectrum. This time around with the Braves we have the epitome of a matched team. The Braves ranked 17th in BaseRuns scored with 753 runs and ranked 18th in BaseRuns allowed with 751 runs. Now that’s equality.

Despite a seemingly poor rating on offense, the Braves actually had a decent collection of bats. Their league and their park both suppressed offense which makes them come across as a bit worse then they actually were. Notably, Brian McCann, Chipper Jones, Yunel Escobar, Kelly Johnson and (while he was there) Mark Teixeira formed a tremendous offensive infield, possibly the best in baseball. Where the Braves fell down was in the outfield especially with Jeff Francoeur who took a big step back this season.

The Braves also had a serviceable bullpen, keeping away from black holes and having a few new names. Jeff Bennett who hadn’t pitched a full season since 2004 with Milwaukee, game in to toss nearly 100 innings with a nearly 64% groundball rate. Buddy Carlyle moved from the rotation and saw his groundball and strikeout rates move way up.

The rotation did see the heralded (okay, not really) return of Mike Hampton. However old war horses Tom Glavine and John Smoltz both went down with injuries along with Tim Hudson. Given all that it’s hardly a surprise that the rotation faltered a bit. That they didn’t outright collapse is a testament to a pair of surprises. Jair Jurrjens and Jorge Campillo, both of whom have been covered extensively here. They provide some hope for next season as they wait to hear on how their injured brethren recover.



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Matthew Carruth is a software engineer who has been fascinated with baseball statistics since age five. When not dissecting baseball, he is watching hockey or playing soccer.


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I assume you mean Kelly Johnson, not Kelly Jennings.

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