I keep asking myself, "what's going on"? We are getting beat each night for the same reasons, letting every opportunity to catch the Mets or take the wild card lead slip away. Today we find ourselves back at .500 for the month, an unceremonious 10-and-10 -- the product of our three, four, and five spots in the starting pitching rotation unable to muster even replacement level pitching performances.
The thing that many Braves fans thought would haunt the team after the trade deadline seems to have come home to roost. We didn't improve our starting rotation through a trade, and while it was performing well in July, it has returned to mediocrity in August. Smoltz and Hudson are a combined 5-and-1 this month, while the rest of the rotation is 2-and-5.
Other teams, even championship teams, have gone through a bit of this before. Years ago for the Braves the phrase was, 'Spahn and Sain, then pray for rain.' Several years ago for Arizona the phrase 'Johnson and Schilling and God willing' described their rotation woes. Both of those phrases led me to the phrase for this year's Braves team:
Smoltzie and Huddy, then it gets ugly.
It's rather unfortunate that we have to come up with such a phrase, but I think it aptly describes our situation right now. Short of one of the other starting pitchers stepping up and putting together several solid outings in a row, the back end of our rotation will continue to kill this team, and we the fans will keep wondering what's going on.
Frustration, to say the least, is the theme for August. The slogan of that frustration is the title of this post.