The Pittsburgh Pirates are one of the three worst teams in baseball. On Monday, the Braves were savagely beaten by those Pirates, who symbolically slammed the door on any momentum Atlanta took from a dramatic win on Sunday. This has been a season-long trend for the Braves: approach or even reach .500, then collapse.
Recently the Atlanta offense has been an abject disaster. Finding a scapegoat in the midst of these offensive struggles has been difficult, as nearly the entire offense has been inconsistent. Losing two key contributors in Marcell Ozuna and Travis d’Arnaud set the offense back considerably, but getting essentially nothing from Dansby Swanson and Cristian Pache has been just as costly. Swanson has been especially disappointing, posting an 86 OPS+ to this point.
Can the Braves afford to continue utilizing four replacement-level players in their daily lineup? With the Trade Deadline just three weeks away, Alex Anthopoulos has to determine whether this roster is worth augmenting. Performances like the one Atlanta had on Monday inspire little confidence, despite all the runners left on base. Adding just one more impact bat to this lineup could push them much closer with the hope that d’Arnaud can rejoin the lineup later this summer. Having watched three months of wildly inconsistent play, should Anthopoulos be a buyer in late-July?
Getting boat-raced in Pittsburgh is awful for anyone, but especially for a team looking to capture some semblance of momentum.
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The Mets are really giving away all their deepest secrets here.