Atlanta has started 0-6, and things are not looking good for this team. I’m willing to put up with young players learning and getting used to the game at the Major League Level, but what I cannot put up with is piss poor management by Fredi Gonzalez, blowing leads, and worst of all; Infield errors.
Fredi Gonzalez has once again shown he has no idea how to manage a bullpen, and it isn’t going to get easier with the loss of one of this season’s bright spots. Dan Winkler is out indefinitely with a fractured elbow, and Chris Withrow’s first outing was less than breathtaking. Ian Krol has been pathetic in the minor leagues, and it looks like Marksberry, Weber, and Burawa are going to have to step up. When Jhoulys Chacin is activated, it appears Jose Ramirez will be sent down after getting knocked around the park yesterday. One player I’m especially disappointed in is A.J. Pierzynski. A.J. was supposed to be a veteran leader, but has instead been making a lot of errors and is far away from the .300 mark he hit last year. Gordon Beckham has been awful outside of the double he hit yesterday, going only 1-8 this year.
One positive to this season being so bad? Fredi Gonzalez has to get fired before the break. For some reason he insists on pulling Jace Peterson during the middle of games in favor of Beckham, who has been an error machine this year. His calls to the pen have been suspect at best, and he has cost this team multiple times this year. I’d pin 3 of our 6 losses on him.
The most infuriating stat about this team has to be the late game performance. The Braves gave up 8 runs out of the pen yesterday, and have already surrendered 17 ER out of the pen in 17 innings. That’s an 8.66 ERA, and we have been outscored 22-2 after the 7th inning in 5 games. The bullpen problems will be addressed by the end of this week, but it’s not looking good.
Even though this team has been bad, they have been steadied by Freddie Freeman, Hector Olivera, and Nick Markakis. These 3 guys have been the solid ground for this team to stand on, and Julio Teheran needs a good outing this week to join that group. Adonis Garcia and Ender Inciarte have also played well, and while the offense has improved, the bullpen, starters, and manager have a long way to go.