Bullpen Woes Continue to Cripple the Braves
Cover Photo: USA Today
By. Andrew Rodberg (www.twitter.com/AndrewRod2019)
ATLANTA, GA- In what looked to be a promising upgrade for a struggling bullpen, (trade deadline) things have quickly turned sour. After acquiring relief pitchers Shane Greene (Tigers), Mark Melancon (Pirates), and Chris Martin (Rangers), the Braves looked for the missing pieces to help propel them deep into the Postseason.
With the game changing at an alarming rate, where relief pitchers are becoming a much more important role, World Series contending teams must have a good bullpen to make a run at the Title. Following the three pickups, the Braves thought everything would be great as Martin held a 3.08 ERA in 38 games, 43 strikeouts, and four walks in 38 innings, Melancon held a 3.50 ERA, 44 strikeouts, and 16 walks in 46.1 innings, and Shane Greene (2019 All-Star) held a 1.18 ERA, 43 strikeouts, and 12 walks in 38 innings, but things don’t always turn out as you planned.
In their first few appearances, Greene, Melancon, and Martin gave up a combined 14 earned runs in just 11 innings of relief while holding a record 0-4 in games. As Braves Country became restless, Braves skipper Brian Snitker needed to do something quick to stop the bleeding. It was previously determined when the trades went through, that Chris Martin would be a middle-reliever (6-7 innings), Mark Melancon would be the setup man (8th inning), and Greene would be the closer (9th inning) but the recent struggles had Snitker throwing that idea in the trash and having them pitch as seen fit.
On Saturday night, the season low for the 2019 Braves bullpen, came in the form of a complete meltdown where they gave up a combined 7 runs in 2.1 innings of relief and blew a 4 run lead in the 9th to the Miami Marlins. A fire extinguisher incident after the game forced everyone out the visiting locker room and not thinking about what had just occurred.
In an interview after the Braves Sunday victory (5-4), Ender Inciarte had this to say about the incident, “I think it was a good thing that happened yesterday. We lost a rough game, and then that happened. “Everybody was thinking about the fire extinguisher. We were not thinking about what happened in the game.”
Those words definitely held true as the Braves bullpen had a bounce back game as they held the Marlins to 4 hits, 2 walks and 0 runs in 3 innings of relief. Here’s to hoping that fire extinguisher put out the wildfire the bullpen had endured since the All Star Break.
The Braves now have an off day on Monday and return to action on Tuesday at home vs the red-hot New York Mets who have won 16 of their last 19 games and look to cut into the Braves 6.5 NL East lead. First pitch is set for 7:20pm
TV: Streamed on Fox Sports Southeast
Radio: Play by Play Analysis will be on 680AM and 93.7FM
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