As the season barrels wontonly toward its thrilling finish, the Atlanta Braves have truly matured in their penchant for losing games. No longer are they simply content to lose by a run or two nor even to just lose one game at a time. In Chicago and in San Diego before it, the Braves put together a spectacle that announced to all bottom-dwelling teams that they are here and are ready to be taken seriously as a non-contender. In their current streak of 7 straight losses, the boys from the south put up a remarkable -28 run differential. It could have been worse, but they had to keep a couple of the losses close so as to pad their heartbreak numbers; we are talking about pros here. They now sit just 3 games above the Phillies and Marlins in the race for NL East impotence. However, Atlanta will have its jobber status tested in the coming days as they return home to face the 49-73 Colorado Rockies; current leaders for worst team in baseball.
The Rockies are nursing a short three game losing streak of their own after accidentally picking up a win over the falling star Washington Nationals last week. You have to think they’d like to be traveling somewhere like Toronto or LA right now to keep their freefall on track. Their matchup with Atlanta will be a tough one to lose. The Braves rank lower than Colorado in both wRC+ and wOBA in 2015. The Braves .111 ISO on the season is also an intimidating number for any team looking to pick up a series loss. However, Colorado is not without dull weapons of their own. Jorge De La Rosa is still a pitcher they use as a starter and the Braves will see him in game one. De La Rosa will be followed in games 2 and 3 by Chad Bettis and Yohan Flande. Whatever you know about Bettis already is more than enough and Flande was not very long ago cut from the Braves big league bullpen before Spring Training broke. It is a formiddable roster and the Braves will have to utilize their best efforts to keep their ball small against the Rockies. This will necessitate keeping the raucous power bats of Nick Swisher and Ryan Lavarnway in check.
The Rockies can also take heart that Shleby Miller will be pitching in this series. While run support hasn’t been there for the Braves righty, Miller always gives the opposing team their best possible opportunity to lose against Atlanta. Colorado will have to get through the erratic arms of Julio Teheran and Mike Foltynewicz before seeing the Braves ace, though. That’s about as far as I can draw this joke out, honestly. And it’s probably too far. The long and short of it is that Colorado is bad and Atlanta is likewise bad. This is the team that swept the Braves before the All Star break in a series that saw miscue after miscue and the devastating loss of Jason Grilli to injury. There is no reason to think either team will play much better baseball this time around or that the games will be any more fun to watch. So. Play ball.