This is not a post about one game, or one series, this is not even a post about just one season. This is a post about the culmination of the last several seasons and the resulting inadequacies of the Atlanta Braves offense of 2009. This is about a team that has been shut out, scored zero runs, a league-high 9 times this year. That doesn't happen by accident. That doesn't even happen to the Nationals.
Some of you will say that this is not Terry Pendleton's fault, and you may be right. But in the grand scheme of things, in the hierarchy of baseball, it is the hitting coach that should pay the penalty for a team not hitting. Should we blame the players? Yes. But we can't replace them as easily. We don't have the ability to replace our underperforming players from withing the organization, but another hitting coach with a different philosophy of hitting can always be found from within or outside the organization.
In the grand scheme of things, something has to be done to shake this team up, and that thing should be to fire the Braves hitting coach, Terry Pendleton.
If we need evidence, then it is there. Jeff Francoeur could not rely on TP to try and fix his problems, so this off-season he went to Rudy Jamarillo of the Texas Rangers -- the same person who may be fixing the unfixable Andruw Jones, a former failure of Terry Pendleton.
TP has not been able to help Kelly Johnson improve, and for the last three years we have seen nothing but regression from KJ.
Casey Kotchman has not hit well, and not hit for power, and we have suffered from that inability of one of our corner infielders to be a run-producer.
The Braves hitters are a reflection of their hitting coach's career:
|TP vs. the 2009 Braves||OBP||SLG||OPS|
|Terry Pendleton's career numbers||.316||.391||.707|
|The 2009 Atlanta Braves numbers||.329||.389||.717|
It is a scarily similar line, and one that should not be unexpected. I'm not saying that all hitting coaches teach what they themselves did as players, but this one certainly seems to be trending that way.
I'm not just calling for the termination of Terry Pendleton, this is also about responsibility and accountability. For the past three years we have been making excuses for the Atlanta Braves, and we have been doing so with the exact same coaching staff, and that has to stop. Someone has to be the sacrificial lamb of this team. We have to fire someone to let this team know that the results they are putting up come with consequences.
The Atlanta Braves need to fire Terry Pendleton... now!