Another day has come and gone without the Braves hitting a homer. David Price completely shut down Atlanta last night as Boston cruised to a seven-run victory over the Braves. That means that the Red Sox have "swept" the Braves on the away leg of this series, and now they'll be looking to do the same as the home-and-home series shifts to Fenway Park. As for the Braves and their power outage, I don't think that you need me to tell you that it's gotten bad.
Power is out in the ATL.— ESPN (@espn) April 27, 2016
Braves have gone 15 straight games without a HR. That's MLB's longest drought in 25 years. pic.twitter.com/CUFzQ4REXx
As if the power outage isn't bad enough, the defense has continued to be pretty bad as we head towards the end of the first month of play. Eric and Ivan decided to take a deep dive into the carnage, and they also named names when it came to the chief offenders of bad defense on the time. It's not pretty, and I commend each and every one of you for making it through that article.
First, the overall bad news: The Braves are among the, if not the, worst defensive teams in baseball right now. They currently ranked dead last in the league with -22 defensive runs saved. That’s not unlike taking an anti-Andrelton Simmons (basically putting a negative sign in front of all of his defensive values), condensing his awful production in the field from one season down to less than a month, and then running him out there every day.
The Braves' ineptitude in terms of defensive runs saved is already at a historic pace. One of the worst seasons defensively for a team was the 2005 Yankees who came in at -120 defensive runs saved for the entire season. (Ivan’s note: at least since we‘ve had DRS and UZR data available to us, there were probably even worse teams historically but it’s hard to compare box score-based Total Zone to current defensive metrics.) At the Braves’ current pace, they will sit at -198 defensive runs saved for the season...which is basically taking that 2005 Yankees team, and then lopping on yet another terrible defensive season (-78 additional defensive runs saved) onto it.
In order to make sure this doesn't end on a completely sour note, here's Daniel Castro fumbling his way into a good defensive play.
One of the guys who Eric and Ivan named in their article was Erick Aybar. Aybar is off to a pretty horrific start as an Atlanta Brave, and it's put a wrench in the Braves' best-laid plans of possibly moving him at the deadline. The struggles have been such that Fredi Gonzalez is considering moving Aybar to second base so that Daniel Castro can get more time at the position, and AJC beat writer David O'Brien even suggested that Aybar's replacement at the position (either Dansby Swanson or Ozhaino Albies) could come up sooner rather than later and take his spot. Either way, it's rough times for Aybar right now.
During the first loss of this current four-game tilt with the Red Sox, Fredi Gonzalez shocked not only Braves Country but the entire baseball world by batting Freddie Freeman sixth in the lineup. Granted, Freeman has been struggling mightily this season, but it was still a major head-scratcher of a decision on the manager's part. Our friends at Beyond the Box Score tried to figure out what exactly was going on, here.
The Braves aren't trying to win, right? So it's not an absolute crime to bat Freddie Freeman sixth and A.J. Pierzysnki cleanup... no?
Except it is. Even when the Astros were at their absolute worst, Jose Altuve was still batting at the top of the lineup. The Cubs never hit Anthony Rizzo in the bottom third of the order. We know that lineup construction has minimal correlation with winning, but, at the same time, there is some correlation. It feels inherently wrong to look at a lineup and see the player who's easily the best on the team hitting all the way down in the six spot.
I'd like to congratulate Andrew McCutchen on managing to hit as many home runs in one night as the Braves have hit throughout this entire month. Also, I'm jealous of Pirates fans because it must be nice to see one of your team's players (let alone the entire team) hit three whole entire real-life home runs in just one single game. It must be amazing! Anyways, McCutchen's power surge ended up being the key to a 9-4 victory over Colorado.
Speaking of players who are well-versed in the art of smacking dingers, Yoenis Cespedes hit a crucial three-run homer for the Mets on Tuesday night. His pinch-hit homer tied the game at three, and David Wright ended up hitting an RBI single to put the Mets ahead of the Reds for good.
Also, the game included a hilarious Bartolo Colon moment, and because this is a baseball website, we're required by law to show you a gif of the hilarious Bartolo Colon moment.