After a close win last night, the Braves try to guarantee themselves a series split with a victory tonight.
One of the continuing narratives throughout this season has been how much the Braves strike out. In April, they struck out 25% of the time. In May, they struck out 23% of the time. In June, it was down to 22%. This month? They're down to 20% in about half of the month.
What about that walk rate? April had 9%. May had 9%. June was up to 11%. This month it's down to 6%. Of course, the Braves have posted their best wOBA (weighted on-base average - a way to weigh offensive production that is scaled to look like OBP) of the year at .331, but that's also helped out by a .351 BABIP - the other months are all around .300, which we would expect.
Just some interesting tidbits.
Scouting Report: Bronson Arroyo is the classic junkball pitcher. As you can see, he throws more off-speed pitches than fastballs, and his curveball is his best pitch. He'll go to that curveball when he wants to get outs, and at 73 mph, batters will have to wait back. Arroyo won't overpower anyone. The Braves will just have to stay back and unload on any mistakes he makes because he is homer-prone.
Analysis: Arroyo manages to be a league-average pitcher despite a big fastball or his 13% K rate. He balances it out with a miniscule BB rate of 4%. But Arroyo, as you might imagine, can get crushed when his location isn't precise, but his HR/FB rate for his career is perfectly normal while his BABIP of .281 is low for what one would expect. He seems to elicit enough weak contact, "breaking" FIP a bit as his 4.19 career ERA is about 30 points below his career FIP.