One of baseball’s most surprising teams keeps posting gaudy numbers regardless of the competition.
The Atlanta Braves (30-21) currently lead the National League East Division by a half game over the Philadelphia Phillies. It is pretty evident that the Braves’ offense is not a fluke. They have essentially led the league in runs all season. What is surprising is the production against some of the game’s best arms.
Here are the names of the best starting pitchers the Braves have faced this season: Aaron Nola, Max Scherzer, Stephen Strasburg, Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard, and Chris Sale. The Braves’ record in games where these aces pitched is a combined 7-3, per Baseball Reference.
This is impressive considering the young collection of talent mixed in the Braves’ lineup. Also, Nick Markakis has batted clean-up all year. Raise your hand if you thought his career-year would come this year, while batting fourth. If your hand is up, you’re lying. He also leads the league in hits.
The one exception to the list of aforementioned names would be deGrom. In one appearance against Atlanta he was taken out due to injury after four innings of solid effort. In another appearance he held the Braves in check, pitching seven innings of four-hit ball without surrendering a run. However, the Braves did go on to win both games.
Atlanta had the most alarming numbers against arguably the two best pitchers in all of baseball. The Braves rocked Scherzer the first time they faced him. On April 6th, Scherzer gave up five runs in five innings as the Braves went on to beat the Nationals 7-1.
Sale was the latest victim. On Sunday, the pesky Braves’ offense exploded for six runs against Sale. He only lasted 4 1/3 innings. Atlanta also won that game 7-1.
There is something to be said for the production of the Braves’ offense this year. It is even more impressive that this squad has shown up in the biggest moments, against baseball’s best arms. Don’t expect the bats to slow down anytime soon.
Now, can we talk about the bullpen? . . .