Atlanta Braves: Recent road resurgence a great sign, but what’s up with homestand headaches?

The Braves hope for more celebrations like this -- at Turner Field. (AP)

The Braves hope for more celebrations like this -- at Turner Field. (AP)

With a nailbiter of a 12-inning 8-7 win May 13 against the NL East-leading Mets, the Braves helped themselves immensely in the division standings. The victory moved Atlanta back to within 1.5 games of New York, evening the Braves’ record to 17-17.

But here’s what interests us, looking at the standings and stats: The Mets’ home record is 12-8 in Citi Field, their brand new ballpark; their away record, 6-7. Atlanta’s away record is 12-8; the team’s stats at The Ted currently clocking in at an unkind 5-9.

YOU TELL US: With a 10-game homestand up next for the Braves (vs. the NL West’s lackluster Arizona and Colorado with interleague play vs. AL East leader Toronto) and a 10-game road trip on tap for Mets (at NL West leaders San Francisco and L.A. Dodgers with interleague play vs. AL East contender Boston), is a major shakeup in the NL East standings in the offing? Or will the Braves’ lacking play at home combined with the Mets’ road woes maintain the status quo? And why can’t the Braves win at Turner Field?

74 comments Add your comment

Nick

May 14th, 2009
10:25 am

Yeah yeah let’s get some home wins boys!!!

Jay

May 14th, 2009
10:28 am

Sounds like the Toronto series is a perfect time to bring up Mr. Hanson…

Chris

May 14th, 2009
10:30 am

The Braves need a solid 7-3 homestand to put them over the hump of hovering around .500. They don’t need to worry about the Mets right now. The Braves are finally starting to have their opening day line up available on a consistent basis. They’re getting solid starting pitching. There doesn’t seem to be a lot of energy at Turner Field but I’d base their poor record at home more on the timing of team injuries than anything. A healthy Braves team is a team that will contend.

kdbanks

May 14th, 2009
10:34 am

I like to eat spaghetti!

fan fan

May 14th, 2009
10:36 am

perhaps playing in front of a half empty stadium has something to do with it??

1eyedJack

May 14th, 2009
10:40 am

I think their wives are sapping their precious bodily fluids.

1eyedJack

May 14th, 2009
10:41 am

Or it could be the floride in the water.

Steve

May 14th, 2009
10:42 am

I agree with fan fan. It’s hard to play at home with little fan support.

1eyedJack

May 14th, 2009
10:43 am

Seriously though, wasn’t it just the opposite last year?
They won at home and struggled on the road.

DawginLex

May 14th, 2009
10:48 am

Winning on the road is a good sign of improvement over last year’s road kill. The Braves will start winning at home. If the road record can be .500 or better, the Braves will contend all year.

If hudson can come back this year, the pitching could get A LOT better.

That is all we can ask.

Spaghetti

May 14th, 2009
10:51 am

Hmmmmmm….I love Spaghetti too……my favorite

It’s May….don’t worry about the Mets….just take care of business and the wins will come and the Mets can fade away.

jwilli120

May 14th, 2009
10:54 am

let’s just wait and see what this opening day line up does at home before we judge them. I think this road trip they just finished should do a lot for the whole team’s confidence, the Braves looked pretty confident, after the 12 inning win yesterday, Let’s get some distance and take 1st place while at home. GO BRAVES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

P.S. how about Garrett Anderson racking on the road GO BRAVES!!!!!!!!!
TELL EVERYONE !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Boriquagm

May 14th, 2009
10:56 am

Its easy. Bring back Chief Noc-A-Homa that should end the curse at the new ball park just like it did back in 1982.

Karl Childers

May 14th, 2009
10:56 am

mmmmm….Spaghetti is ok I reckon, but I like my biscuits and mustard and french fried potaters a lot more….

mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm……

cseeuisa

May 14th, 2009
10:57 am

I was at Citi Field for that amazing win Wednesday afternoon. NY fans are seriously into their games and I think the Braves feed off all that psychic energy in the park. At Turner a week or so ago vs the Astros, I saw how Braves fans are more into the scene of being at the game rather than game itself. That has to affect the players on the field.

Sethual Healing

May 14th, 2009
11:02 am

The Braves CAN win at Turner Field and they will.

They have only had Garrett Anderson and Brian McCann in the lineup for ONE home game.

Don’t turn this into something it’s not, please.

Aaron

May 14th, 2009
11:04 am

It’s nice to have the starting line-up back together that should help. A couple of things I’d do to improve this club for the homestand. Send JoJo back to AAA, way to inconsistent and when he’s off he gets hammered. Bring up Hansen to take his place and maybe then that spot in the rotation I won’t have to hold my breathe the 1st 5 innings. 2nd- sit Schafer until someone teaches him how to hit an inside fastball. It’s getting embarrassing to see him strike out 3 times a game!

dog hog

May 14th, 2009
11:06 am

Why don’t Brave fans show up at the Ted to support their team? Get in your Range Rover, hit the 400 and go support your team. Maybe lack of support is a factor into their horrible home record.

the Voice

May 14th, 2009
11:07 am

Lets put them on a pay for production schedule. $500 per hit, $1000 per home run, $-200 for strike out,$5000 each for a win. Bet they start producing then.

RHR

May 14th, 2009
11:11 am

The crowd was very into the home opener because it was an exciting game, even after the long rain delay. As far as attendance goes, they can take care of that by winning some games, Atlanta only cares about its sports teams when they’re winning. Everybody knows this. We get to a handful of games every season, have even done the 2hr drive on a work night. I would go all the time if I lived in Atlanta, but like many Braves fans, I don’t.

RHR

May 14th, 2009
11:12 am

And take that god forsaken cow down. Losing at home started not long after that beast was erected. Coincidence? I think not.

DirtyDawg

May 14th, 2009
11:13 am

As one of the more consistent critics of certain of our ballplayers, it’s incumbent on me to acknowledge that these guys are playin’ ball. That even the failures of Tuesday night, along with poor JoJo’s continued problems, didn’t put ‘em in a funk that they couldn’t get out of. Of note was the Bennett guy who ‘bulldogged’ his way through an inning-plus. I admit I was truly surprised that Bobby started Diaz in place of Francoeur – didn’t start out particularly well, but it’s a move that I’ve been thinking was way overdue. I didn’t expect it to be Diaz, but then who else are you gonna use when you’ve got both Prado and Infante already in the game?

Stay focused guys. Who knows, we may be in a division/pennant race yet.

phoenix falcon

May 14th, 2009
11:14 am

they don’t win at home because they are not a very good team ( right now ).

Skunkydave

May 14th, 2009
11:21 am

They do not win at home, because the atlanta fans suck. They always have (perhaps excluding 1991 and 1992).

Mitch

May 14th, 2009
11:29 am

The Braves had a great road trip to three tough cities. I think that their early season record at Turner will improve. This team has always played well at home. The only time we had a losing record at home in the division title years was the 40-41 mark in 2001.

After what I saw yesterday, I really do hope that the Braves send Jo-Jo Reyes to Richmond. We can’t expect to win consistently, if we have a starter who is getting his butt kicked every fifth day. Hopefully Glavine will be back in a couple of weeks, but until then, I would bring up Tommy Hanson, or give a start to someone else.

With twenty of our next twenty seven games at Turner, we will really where this team goes by mid June. Hopefully we will have at least a six and four or seven and three homestand in the upcoming ten game stanza. If we do that, we can make some headway in the standings.

Mitch

steve

May 14th, 2009
11:35 am

It is too early in the season to say they can’t win at home. It is true that we Atlanta fans tend to be more fickle than fans of other teams and it is must be very disappointing for the player to play in front of so few people each night. However, in baseball, does the crowd have that much influence in the actual game? I can see it basketball or football, but not so much in baseball.

Besides, truthfully, I think the Braves are a mediocre team and before it all said in done, we will have a mediocre home and road record.

bravofan

May 14th, 2009
11:36 am

Atlanta fans are not bad you should come out to the Ted and see that the people that come out are passionate!

Red Clay Hound

May 14th, 2009
11:44 am

I am a dinosaur where online coverage is concerned with limited navigational abilities – with that in mind how can Jair Juirgens fantastic performance not be mentioned in any of the aforementioned stories – if he is credited please forward a compass.

bravesphanatic004

May 14th, 2009
11:45 am

cseeuisa,

i think you are right. i was there for the finale of the astros series and i wasnt paying much attention….it was bark in the park day and i had my two labs so basically i was getting hammered and trying to control those crazy pups. all the sections that had dogs in them, the fans for the most part werent paying full attention to the game. the sad thing is that the rest of the fans (those that didnt have dogs) werent paying much attention either.

whats even worse is when we play a good team at home, the away crowd is more bosterious than our own. its sad. and the amount of fans that show up to the home games is outright pathetic…. something has to be done about that. but in all honesty its been that way forever. atlanta fans as a whole are not the best fans. its like most of the city could care less until we are actually winning a lot games…..bandwagon fans. if you put the braves in birmingham it wouldnt matter if we were 12 games out of first and 10 games under .500, the stadium would be more than half full night in and night out. and if we just went 6-2 on the road and were coming back home playing .500 baseball and only 1.5 games out of first….well, it would be packed. i just dont think atlanta fans (for the most part) appreciate having a baseball team. they take it for granted. i would love if the braves moved to bham. it would never happen but us alabamians would appreciate it. and we would be at every game. birmingham is not even half the size of atlanta and yet would would easily double the attendence year in and year out….no matter the record.

sorry for the rant it just really p$$$es me off that i go to more games a year than most people in atlanta do and i live 3 hours away (tuscaloosa)….

anyways, go braves!

Shadydave

May 14th, 2009
11:51 am

Afraid the economy has a lot (but not all) to do with the half-empty seats at Turner, fan apathy no doubt also plays a role…

Agree, enough Jo Jo, bring on Tommy!

And I also like to eat spagetti!

Manny

May 14th, 2009
12:00 pm

I also think the Braves feed off the energy of Mets games and their fans. I was at the Braves vs Mets game on Monday (Lowe vs Santana) and it was a great atmosphere and the crowd was really hyped as was I everyone was really into the game.

I feel that at Turner Field the fans aren’t as hyped up for the Braves and this null atmosphere affects the Braves they will be laid back just as the home fans, if I lived in Atlanta I would go to every Braves game. The Braves at home don’t get enough support by the fans in attendance that’s just my thought.

Go Braves :)

Knuckle Sandwich

May 14th, 2009
12:02 pm

1eyedJack, I think you might be on to something there…

fan fan

May 14th, 2009
12:04 pm

I agree, the economy is playing a factor, but there are ways around it. I got two tickets from Ebay (sec. 232) for $11.50 See you guys at the Ted tomorrow!!

Knuckle Sandwich

May 14th, 2009
12:09 pm

After schools get out for the summer, attendance will rise dramatically. Happens every year in this town.

getnathan

May 14th, 2009
12:15 pm

Braves need to have 7-3 homestand which would put them at 24-20 or 6-4 at worst (23-21). Anything less than 6-4 would be very disappointing. IN fact, Braves have 20 of next 27 games at home. I would accept no less than 12-8 during those 20 games.

Liberty Braves

May 14th, 2009
12:22 pm

I do agree that the stupid cow needs to be taken down. What does it take to get this done? Who is in charge to make these kind of decisions?

Also, I think the more winning that occurs, the more people will show up.

But, for God’s sake, take down that stupid cow!!!

timthebrave

May 14th, 2009
12:38 pm

You can’t really blame the economy completely. You can’t get upper deck seats for like $5. Attendance should take a dip but not to this degree. Do you think the Gwinnett Braves have anything to do with that? That and the bandwagon atlanta fans…I’ll be there Friday and Wed and will try to cheer as loud as 10,000 people. Hope that helps. HUGE win yesterday. Really helps to not think about Tuesday’s game. Go Braves!

singndablues

May 14th, 2009
12:40 pm

Why are the crowds passive? Well the Braves, as much as I love em, has no pizzazz. Which means no speed & little power. No player that excites on the base paths, no player that you can expect consistent big power from. Bobby’s coaching style involves little movement on the basepaths, few h&r’s, few stolen bases, few players that can change the pace by bunting for a hit. A solid team just not an exciting team. But I’ll still watch em.

Brave fan and a baseball fan

May 14th, 2009
12:43 pm

Couple issues here, some already pointed out:

1) McCann and Anderson have only been in a lineup for a home game 1 time out of 14 games so far. Lets see what happens with this next homestand with both healthy.

2) Cincinnati is tied for the NL Cental at 20-14. Their home record? 7-9. Road record? 13-5. It can be done as long as you are .500 at home and winning on the road like the Braves are currently.

3) Atmosphere wise, the TED is very much like a California park (Los Angeles or Anaheim) Laid back, late arriving crowd, there for the scene not the game, etc.. It’s the way it is, its the way it always has been, and will probably not change.

Daniel

May 14th, 2009
12:59 pm

The crowd involvement at the Ted has absolutely nothing to do with this teams home record.
The issue is the lack of McCann and Andersen in the line up. I certainly hope this next 10 games helps the Braves. Either way this is still only May. Remember the Dodgers were 7 games below .500 at Father’s Day last year.

Drixie

May 14th, 2009
1:05 pm

Mets have no starting pitching beyond Santana (who usually exits after 6 innings). They improved their bullpen with Rodriguez but Putz clearly is good and no longer dominant. While Beltran, Reyes and Wright are very good talents, the rest of the Mets lineup is ordinary with has beens like Castillo and Delgado. The Mets choke when the big games are on the line which explains why Santana usually gets little run support – The rest of the team is looking for him to lead the way. Mets will finish 3rd or 4th.

nobama

May 14th, 2009
1:07 pm

Birmingham, or any other place in Alabama, is not worthy of having the Braves.

Sorry.

leggomyego

May 14th, 2009
1:16 pm

Sure we’ll be better; we’ve got McCann back and hitting well, Anderson is starting to warm up, and the bullpen is (..fingers crossed..) better than it was early on (not great mind you, but w/ Gonzo, Soriano, and Moylan getting themselves straightened out, better). Pitching is good, and when Glavine gets back and Campillo gets back our 5th spot and our long relief will both improve. Also i think it’s time to give Charlie Morton another look-see before Glavine returns, and he could be an upgrade as well (sorry Jo Jo, you had your shot). This is a good team folks… the Atlanta Braves will be competitive throughout this year.

Scott S.

May 14th, 2009
1:19 pm

Has anyone seen this Kris Medlen kid at Gwinnett? Bring up him if we are worried about rushing Tommy Hanson. He has been lights out or hell C. Morton would be great too. Jo Jo needs a change of scenery or something. He would look great to Texas!!!

atl38

May 14th, 2009
1:28 pm

So we should attentd more games and give the Braves are support so they can play better for them to have to look down on us and make us beg are butts off for a baseball..What do you think??

Marc

May 14th, 2009
1:38 pm

I agree this team has no pizzazz. I love the team, want them to win, but aside from Moylan, Soriano, and Gonzo in the back of the bullpen, there’s really no player on this team that does something extraordinary on a regular basis like a Reyes does a Rollins does. Javy is proving to be a good guy to see for big strikeout tallies, in fact I am starting to enjoy watching his games even if we lose a little more. I’ll take Chipper’s consistency in a heart beat, but he doesn’t excatly blow your breath away with mind boggling defense, speed, or “OMG how did he hit it that far?” offense. It’s just a dull team, all around good in my opinion, but dull.

Willy

May 14th, 2009
1:58 pm

Does anyone think that Omar Infante should be the regular second baseman? He does nothing but hit and field. He’s batting .338 with a .369 OBP (not great), .429 SLG and .798 OPS. Kelly Johnson .243 BA, .322 OBP (not great), .398 SLG and .720 OPS. Go with the player that produces, not the one you want to produce. Kelly can start sometimes, but he’s better off then bench (see last night’s game).

Also, Reyes may have had good stuff in Spring, but it’s not translating to the regular season. Send him to Gwinnett to get his head on straight and bring up Medlen or Hanson. We couldn’t trade Reyes now without adding something else to the package. Better to see if he can straighten out in the minors.

I agree with the apathetic fan comments, but I think that the location of the stadium without Marta access hurts attendance as much as prices. Few people want to park and wait for a bus before and after games.

It’s easy to trash a team when they’re skittering. Either you’re loyal or you’re not.

Steve Stevenson

May 14th, 2009
2:10 pm

The Braves have been horrid since they put the giant chopping cow in the stadium. We must burn it! it is evil!

Lady

May 14th, 2009
2:11 pm

I think they are just finally learning how to play with each other. Its only the beginning of the season. Those bad bull pen game blows were a total mess.

The braves have McCann back and if they take Johnson out of the leadoff stop and put in in the 7 hole where he belongs, things will fall into place. I agree with a writter a while ago. If they are not going to play Johnson where he can hit, they mine as well trade him.

Chipper, McCann, Anderson hitting and Francoeur being patient at the plate. Give the pitchers some run support. The Braves will be just fine. Its time to go on a tear.

WhiteMike10

May 14th, 2009
2:15 pm

If you sit in the Lexus Aka Golden Moon Aka Club Level seats…yeah the fans pretty much blow. So, go sit in the outfield. That’s where the real fans go. Get a lower bowl outfield seat and you won’t be disappointed…..plus it is easier to heckle there.