What’s the Braves panic meter after recent slide?

Freddie Freeman

The Braves are amid one of their most frustrating stretches in recent memory. They’ve lost five of their last six and are coming off an embarrassing three-game sweep at the hands of the rival Dodgers. To make matters worse, the Philadelphia Phillies are playing the best baseball of anybody and have quickly taken a significant 2.5-game lead in the NL East.

The Braves still sit at 20-12 on the season, but you wouldn’t know it based on the reactions caused by this recent stretch of play. Matt Olson apparently isn’t good anymore, Ronald Acuña Jr. doesn’t hustle, and Bryce Elder is the worst pitcher in baseball. Those are the three best breakdowns I heard over the weekend from fans across social media platforms.

I’ll be the first to admit the Braves have been a tough watch of late. I can’t remember the last time they’ve been this lifeless offensively over an extended stretch, which is a testament to how consistently good they’ve been over the last few years. With that being said, what should really be the level of concern for this team moving forward?

Braves Panic Meter (1-10): 1

Guys, what are we doing here? There’s no way I’m going to sit here on May 6th and complain because the Braves have experienced their first bad stretch of baseball in what feels like several years.

This is an offense that was historically great a year ago. Ronald Acuña Jr. Matt Olson, and Austin Riley didn’t forget how to hit. When the summer comes, this offense turns into a juggernaut. There’s no reason to believe that won’t be the case again very soon. It’s also worth noting that this recent stretch has come on the road, five hours away from home, against two of the hottest teams in baseball. It’s not like the Braves just lost five out of six to the Marlins and White Sox.

If it were the pitching causing Atlanta to struggle, I might be a little more worried, especially with Spencer Strider out for the season. However, the pitching has actually been fantastic from top to bottom, even without Strider.

Max Fried has found his groove after a shaky start. Chris Sale and Reynaldo Lopez have been two of the best acquisitions of the entire offseason through the first six weeks of the season. Charlie Morton continues to age like a fine wine, and the bullpen, for the most part, has been lights out.

Nobody likes losing, and nobody likes to see the Philadelphia Phillies, of all teams, in first place. But let’s pump the breaks; this offense is way too talented not to catch fire sooner rather than later. When that happens, the wins will begin to pile up in bunches.

Photographer: John Adams/Icon Sportswire

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