From today's post:
"The team as a whole also has a strikeout problem, having now struck out a Major League leading 117 times this season. That number is tough to reconcile with our major league leading run total of 82."
Really? I'm not. Because the Braves are second to Cincinnati in homers, fourth in slugging behind Cincy and Colorado. Third in walks. It's the power and plate discipline, baby. Those often come hand-in-hand with lots of whiffs.
Looking at our strikeout leaders, you see:
Adam Laroche - 20 K, hitting .224/.296/.510. As I've said in several diaries, first base is my biggest concern right now. A couple of homers are making the Laroche/Jordan platoon look better than it is.
Marcus Giles, 14K, hitting .212/.369/.346. The power outage is more worrying to me than the K's. He's drawn 13 walks too. When Marcus begins driving the ball more, we'll see the K numbers drop.
Jeff Francoeur - 13 K, hitting .211/.220/.386. Has turned it on recently but the lack of walks is a concern. Pitchers will start walking him once he gets his average up.
Wilson Betemit, 10 K, hitting .313/.405/.531 and Ryan Langerhans, 9K, hitting .349/.451/.628. They're hitting the crap out of the ball right now and have 13 walks to go with their strikeouts.
Andruw Jones - 9 K, also hitting .296/.355/.630. Andruw has always struck out a lot.
Looking at that, only Laroche crosses me as a bad hitter. Giles and Jones are all-stars. Betemit, Francoeur and Langerhans are prototypical young sluggers.
I would like to see the batting averages come up a bit and the strikeouts come down a bit. I do think we need a high-average contact hitter in there somewhere. We saw last night that an effective pitcher can deal with a lineup heavy on slugging and walking.
But this isn't something to get bent out of shape over. K's are only part of the offensive equation -- a small part. Better a team leading the league in K's and GIDP, no?