The Braves entered their weekend series against the Cardinals having won 14 of their last 16 games, and looked poised to win a sixth straight series with a great performance Friday night. Unfortunately, Atlanta instead dropped two straight games, largely due to uncharacteristic performances from Kenley Jansen and A.J. Minter.
Jansen blew a save in the ninth inning on Saturday while Minter gave up four runs off two home runs on Sunday. Yes, these struggles do happen during the season. However, for the Braves, this continues a bit of a concerning trend for the bullpen. Through July 31st, the Braves bullpen was second in FIP and third in xFIP among all MLB relief units. In August, they are 17th in FIP and 23rd in xFIP. While the talent and depth of this bullpen will likely right the ship in time, Atlanta does not have much room for error to allow for many more blown leads late in games.
This is not only true in terms of their pursuit of the NL East division , but more importantly making sure the bullpen is in good shape for the postseason.
- Ronald Acuna Jr. discussed some recent knee discomfort that has kept him out of the lineup the past two games. Fortunately, he is optimistic he will return to the lineup on Tuesday.
- Ozzie Albies finally has a potential timeline for his return to Atlanta in September. The Braves second baseman hopes to begin a rehab assignment in the middle of next week.
- ESPN looked at Michael Harris II and Vaughn Grissom being the latest in a long line of dynamic young duos the Braves have benefitted from over the years.
- Brad Rowland and Eric Cole recapped a disappointing weekend of baseball for the Braves in the latest edition of the Battery Power Podcast.