# With 100 to go, numbers say Braves in trouble

So who wants to tell Bobby Cox what the numbers say?

The Braves have 100 games left in the season. This isn’t the time to make declarations. Usually.

But given what we’ve seen this season, and really since the last post-season in Atlanta in 2005, this seemed like a good time to do a little math.

First, the numbers: The Braves are 30-32 going into tonight’s game at Cincinnati. They are 6 1/2 games back of Philadelphia in the National League East and in eighth place in the N.L. wild-card race (3 1/2 back of San Francisco, although being eighth is more significant).

To turn things around, they’ll need to start winning games where they haven’t been, but should: At home (where they’re currently 15-17) and in meetings with sub-. 500 teams (16-18) — although I guess you can make a case that if you’re a sub-.500 team yourself, maybe that should not be expected.

But here are the most daunting numbers: Over the last 10 seasons, the winner of the National League East Division has averaged 95.2 victories. The N.L. wild-card team averaged 91.9 wins.

At 30-32, that means the Braves might have to go 65-35 (.650) the rest of the season to win the East or 62-38 (.620) to capture the wild-card spot.

Question: The current record puts the Braves on pace for 78 wins. They have finished under .500 in two of the last three seasons, winning 72, 84 and 79 those three seasons. Are any of you confident of this team playing over .600 baseball the rest of this season? Feel free to weigh in.

Here are the numbers:

Year    East              W     Wild card    W        Braves (30-32) need to go

2008   Philadelphia  92    Milwaukee    90      60-40 (.600)

2006   New York     97    Los Angeles  88      58-42 (.580)

2005   Atlanta        90    Houston        89       59-41 (.590)

2004   Atlanta        96    Houston        92       62-38 (.620)

2003   Atlanta       101    Florida          91      61-39  (.610)

2002   Atlanta       101    San Fran.      95       65-35 (.650)

2001   Atlanta        88    St. Louis        93       63-37 (.630)

2000   Atlanta        95    New York      94       64-36 (.640)

1999   Atlanta       103    New York     97       67-33 (.670)

Hot Phone Sex Princess

June 16th, 2009
11:23 am

I don’t like to do all the heavy lifting so please find out for me: what did the numbers say in 1991?

BigHittas

June 16th, 2009
11:28 am

Princess, your baseball knowledge far exceeds that of an average girl.

I’m impressed.

Mitchell

June 16th, 2009
11:29 am

I gotta say, I’m starting to like the phrase “wait til next year.”

It’s a lot easier than “… if Jeff can start hitting…” and “…if Chipper stays healthy…”

It’s not happening.

Early Christmas

June 16th, 2009
11:31 am

This is a joke, right? Is the date April 1? This team play at a plus .600 clip? Riiiggghhhtttt. The only questions for this team are how far below .500 they will end up and whether or not they can beat out the Fish so they don’t end up next to last. In fact, the only reason this team doesn’t finish in the cellar is because the baseball gods placed the terminally pathetic Nats in the Division. The Braves collectivly have L’s stamped on their equally pathetic foreheads, from the journeymen outfielders, to the underachieving pinheads management has assembled for this roster. RIP losers.

Dan Tana

June 16th, 2009
11:31 am

Big difference: In 19991, TP was on the field, not the dugout.

"Chef" Tim Dix

June 16th, 2009
11:33 am

Jeff, the are important numbers, but I say the next 16 games tell the tale as the schedule does them no favors and quite frankly is just brutal.

mudcat

June 16th, 2009
11:37 am

Get use to this. After watching this last draft by the Braves, we’re going to be an average or worse team for awhile. It seems cost control is the name of the game. Its back to the 1970’s and 1980’s. And those were painful years.

BigHittas

June 16th, 2009
11:38 am

I think the Braves can still turn it around, but will they do what’s necessary? I think that question will have to be answered by the front office; if Cox is willing to bench his starting shortstop, the fault doesn’t seem to lie with coaching.
With the injuries they’ve had and the sorting out of players that haven’t worked out so far, maybe mid-season is the best time to assess.

f leghorn

June 16th, 2009
11:47 am

To hear Bobby & Leo talk, there’s nothing to worry about. . .is Jim Mora doing PR for the Braves now?

Frenchie's Fried

June 16th, 2009
11:49 am

So Jeff, you’re telling me we can only lose 4-5 more games to remain competitive? I think that will be taken care off when we face off with the Sox. Although I would like to stick it to Smoltz.

Mychelfromatl

June 16th, 2009
11:56 am

Wow Jeff, I coulda told you the Braves were in trouble when they 162 to go!!

TJ

June 16th, 2009
12:00 pm

Of course they’re in trouble… no one other than Chipper and McCann can hit

corkylikesbeer

June 16th, 2009
12:01 pm

Jeff…it is still early in the season. We have been hitting the ball hard but right at people. I think you have to tip your cap to the other team. Frenchy and KJ will come around.

Shug

June 16th, 2009
12:03 pm

I want to hear more about going to Dairy Queen with Francouer and that Buster Parfait fellow.

tmac

June 16th, 2009
12:05 pm

To ask if the Braves are in trouble means you were to assume they would compete to begin with. I have been saying since spring training they were in trouble. No one wanted to listen…
With this outfield and stubbornness of the manager, I was going to be more surprised if they competed vs. where they are now. It’s going to be another missed playoffs with anywhere between 72-80 wins, mark it down.

MiltonDawg

June 16th, 2009
12:06 pm

if were not above .500 by july 1rst by at least 3-4 games..say goodbye to season. someone needs to light a fire under these braves and apparently the flame is not coming from the coaches.

Hot Phone Sex Princess

June 16th, 2009
12:07 pm

Hey Big Hittas: Thanks, but you still can’t have my number.

By the way, my head isn’t in the sand here. I don’t think we’re back in 1991. I’m just asking…because, as I recall, at the ‘91 All Star break the Braves were a losing team. So I’m curious about what the numbers say, especially since our esteemed columnist built his post around the numbers.

TROTTINGHOMETUDD

June 16th, 2009
12:08 pm

Someone’s leaving at the break…bullpen coach /hitting coach or both.

Shultz you to scared to say it like it is? Need to let the masses sing out? Where’s the need to stand for your own thoughts?

Of course they are in trouble and you know it.

the truth...

June 16th, 2009
12:09 pm

Corky you have been drinking way too much beer….maybe a smoke or two to top it off?

TROTTINGHOMETUDD

June 16th, 2009
12:09 pm

Hot Sex… there is no better!!!! pant pant

NC Braves Fan

June 16th, 2009
12:09 pm

.600 ball? Not without a major shakeup or turnaround to a putrid lineup.

Unless they make a major deal, the key players would appear to be Kelly Johnson and Casey Kotchman. If these guys step up and hit to their capabilities, we might have a chance with our pitching to be competitive.

We could talk about Francoeur, Garret, etc. but that dead horse appears to have been beaten beyond recognition at this point.

dobearsbare

June 16th, 2009
12:10 pm

They’ll have to add a bat. Oh, wait, they did that already. As for 1991, they were 9 1/2 games out at the All-Star Break, but that year is the exception to prove the rule. Plus, if memory serves, they were in second place and only had to catch the Dodgers. I’m sorry, but it’s very difficult to see that kind of surge coming with this team.

Baracked the Vote!

June 16th, 2009
12:10 pm

no way this team is in trouble. it is headed for a 3rd or 4th place finish which is what is was built to do. everyone should have known that the team could not expect to reach the playoffs when the season started. of course, cox shouldn’t be concerned, he has a lifetime appointment.

johnnyboy

June 16th, 2009
12:12 pm

We definitely need a 5 -10 game winning streak soon. It seems like there is plenty of talent but people aren’t playing up to their potential. Maybe benching more people (like Escobar) will give the team an attitude adjustment.

Joe Fan

June 16th, 2009
12:12 pm

The Braves either make the necessary moves to become competitive or play before the empty seats at Turner Field. They need to remember they are competing for the average Joe’s entertainment dollar and right now they aren’t very entertaining.

Herschel Talker

June 16th, 2009
12:18 pm

Stick a fork in ‘em!

ATL FAN

June 16th, 2009
12:25 pm

LOL NOT A CHANCE IN THE WORLD THAT THEY’LL PLAY 600 BASEBALL!! Braves have decent pitching but absolutely wretched hitting. This team is in deep trouble.

Rev. Otis Nixon

June 16th, 2009
12:25 pm

you just can’t do it, can you jeff? your beat is to cover negative braves news. i think its histerical at this point. seriously, all jokes aside, is that kind of your role, to stir up the masses?

To Johnny Boy

June 16th, 2009
12:27 pm

Uh…. plenty of talent? Leaving aside Chipper and McCann, what are you talking about??????

Big H

June 16th, 2009
12:27 pm

Dang! If only I could get this time machine to work and get back to the good ol’ days.

Bill

June 16th, 2009
12:27 pm

77-85.Blame Liberty Media and Frank Wren in that order.

Rufio

June 16th, 2009
12:29 pm

well we wont catch the nationals for the worst record, but were only 4 games up on having the number 2 pick in the draft… maybe that should be our goal, haha.

Suwanee Fan

June 16th, 2009
12:30 pm

Otis, Jeff isn’t stirring up anything, he’s reporting the truth. The Braves are in serious trouble. I agree 1000% with him!

The_Superhoo (Montana by way of Virginia)

June 16th, 2009
12:32 pm

thanks for bringing up the numbers…i guess? lol

gotta say i’m somewhat less excited about this team now than i was before (it’s amazing that’s possible lol).

but that’s not your fault; you just shined the light on the failure.

forget the curveball Ricky

June 16th, 2009
12:34 pm

this was a .500 at best team from the start of the season…we have piching and very little else, so to think that this team has a chance in hell of getting to the postseason is just deplorable

maybe they can fix it in the offseason, but i wouldnt hold my breath in that regard either…there were ample opps to fix the lineup last summer and the brass came up with the idea of depending on frenchy, kj and js to produce along with siging g.anderson.

Razor Shines

June 16th, 2009
12:34 pm

Next year will be our year

Train Wreck Bystander

June 16th, 2009
12:37 pm

I wish I could say I believe we can make the playoffs – but the only thing I believe is that our Braves will be trade-deadline sellers this year.

Not going to pin it on any one person, though. You win as a team and you fall short as a team.

Skeezix

June 16th, 2009
12:38 pm

Forget 2009. As I predicted pre-season, this is at best a third place team, but probably a 4th place team. Anybody who thought differently wasn’t paying close attention or was listening to their heart too much. What I’m watching is to see if the pitching staff can get to where it needs to be to position us for next year (Huddy has a successful rehab and a few good starts and Hanson continues to develop), and what Braves management (I use the term management loosely here) will do to start addressing the offense…I can tell you Garret Anderson ain’t the answer, nor is the kid we just got from Pittsburgh. By the way, in addressing 2009 needs, Wren has put us further in the budget hole with his gamble on KK, who at \$3.5m per year, has been a huge disappointment (as I also predicted).

Mike Jay

June 16th, 2009
12:39 pm

This team is flawed and has no offensive identity. They do not have the speed or skill set to play small ball. They have no power to wait for the 3 run homer. They have mediocre defense. They do have outstanding starting pitching and a decent bullpen. Basically you have a bunch of slow, light hitting, average to below contact offensive club that is extremelly boring to watch. I feel bad for the starters as there could easily be 1-3 Cy Young candidates in them if they could just get some run support. Add all that up with the recent treatment of players and the obviously limited pay roll and suddenly the Braves went from a team that everybody wanted to play for to a laughing stock. Ted Turner plaeas save us!!!

Unknown

June 16th, 2009
12:42 pm

No way they are winning 78 games. Maybe 70. They will be the second worst team in baseball (Nats) when all is said and done. They won’t be good again until 2011. Fire sale!

Frenchie's Fried

June 16th, 2009
12:43 pm

I’m inclined to disagree with the comment about KK being nothing but a disappointment. I agree that he’s had some bad outings — but I believe the front office knew there would be an adjustment period when they signed him from Japan. Also, his run support is the lowest out of the starting pitchers, and I think Boog even made a comment about it being one of the lowest in the NL.

AndyC

June 16th, 2009
12:44 pm

Hey Jeff, way to crush the dreams of the last few remaining fans who think the Braves will make the playoffs. I have suspected this for about 2 weeks and have said that they next two weeks will probably determine the season. Playing .650 ball over the next two weeks will keep the dream alive but does anyone really think they can do that against the Red Sox and Yanks? I don’t think so. I just hope Wren realizes this and trades Gonzo and or Soriano to restock the minors or pickup a young outfielder if they are not able to resign one of them.

Frenchie's Fried

June 16th, 2009
12:45 pm

Why in God’s name would you trade our closer?

Frenchie's Fried

June 16th, 2009
12:46 pm

Why would you trade our closer?

Let's Go Bravos!

June 16th, 2009
12:47 pm

there sure are a lot of doubters on this blog. We have the pitching (minus KK and add Hudson) to win this division. If our bats and defense would become consistent then we will play .700 baseball. There may be a few moves that we could do to get better but for the most part, this is our team and we need to support them! When we play at home, there needs to be more Braves fans there than the opposing team.

AndyC

June 16th, 2009
12:48 pm

Frenchie’s Fried

Both Soriano and Gonzo are free agents after this season. They will both likely command big bucks. The Braves certainly can’t afford to sign both, but maybe one. If the Braves are out of playoff contention it makes sense to trade one or both of them to get something in return for them instead of just letting them leave via free agency.

Braint

June 16th, 2009
12:50 pm

Plain and simple — teams like the Yankees and Red Sox work the counts in their favor. The Braves do not work the counts and swing at the first thing they see. If you don’t see pitches and pick one out you like — then you have bad and quick at-bats. This team needs a hitting philosophy overhall. The sad thing is, they have the pitching to win. It’s a shame to waste it.

Nova Scotia Steve

June 16th, 2009
12:51 pm

Jeff my friend you are very correct! It ain’t gunna happen this year no matter how many believers are out there…we don’t have the offense to manufacture a long winning streak…Just can’t hit man…I think that’s the number one problem…everyone seen how some pitchers (some who I don’t know who the hell they are) have just shut us down. We’ve looked really bad at points this season…and I really don’t expect it to get much better…

And you know what…It sucks

jacket3

June 16th, 2009
12:51 pm

Nope, Jeff. Great job. Statistical information outweighs everything else. Numbers don’t lie, People do. We are going to hear “woulda, coulda, shoulda a lot now going forward.

Sounds just like the “Trashers” and our “warm up” basketball club. Tons of talent and no captain to guide the boat to shore.

BTW, have you done any comparisons to the Big A and Motown franchises? I’ll bet the stats will be comparative there too.

Regards,
Jacket3

Suwanee Fan

June 16th, 2009
12:52 pm

Offer Wren to another team first, then retire Garrett Anderson, send Barbaro Canizares back to Baltimore(?)- I can’t recall another 6′ 4″ 240 LB players with his lack of power… he’s NOT a big leaguer. From there, I don’t know where to go – I can’t see anyone knocking our door down for Norton? Johnson? Franceour?

Very lackluster team….