With a 91-71 record the Atlanta Braves finished second in the National League East. This is a pretty good baseball team that spent 93 days in first place and built a seven game lead before a 13-14 September relegated them to a second place finish. While they did go 9-6 in interleague play, they had just a 38-34 record against their four divisional opponents. That included a disappointing 8-10 record against the Washington Nationals. This team needs to play tougher against its divisional rivals and win the games they should easily win.
The Braves offense did score 738 runs, fifth best amongst the 16 NL teams. The team batting average was .258 also fifth best, and only second baseman Martin Prado hit better than .300 for the year. The big struggle for this team was the .190 average of CF Nate McLouth. They hit only 139 home runs with their 1,411 hits. That seems to suggest there is an overall lack of power on this team. Braves hitters struck out 1,140 times and drew a NL best 634 walks.
The pitching staff remains very good. The Braves staff ERA was 3.57 which was the third best staff era in the NL. They gave up just 629 runs on 1,326 hits. They struck out 1,241 batters and issued 505 free passes. Three of their starting five regular starters had double digit wins, and four of them finished with a winning record. They could use another back end starter, but their bull pen is quite good with closer Billy Wager converting 37 saves.
Looking at the numbers it makes a lot of sense for the Braves to go out and add 2B Dan Uggla, thus lineup really needs his bat. They must now focus on a fifth starter and this could be a very good team heading into 2011.
- Atlanta Braves news and notes
- The Business of Major League Baseball
- Joshua Lobdell.com