The Braves fell from first place to last place in the National League East during the team’s recent eight-game losing streak; they now maintain a 26-24 record following last night’s loss to the St. Louis Cardinals. However, if a ball club plays Atlanta on a Monday, there’s a very good chance they’ll pull out a win. So far this season, the Braves are 0-8 on Mondays. In fact, the last time Atlanta won a regular season game on a Monday was August 22, 2011, with a 3-0 victory over the Chicago Cubs. Granted, the wheels started falling off in September, it’s really not a surprise that they didn’t get a Monday win the entire month.
The Braves have only scored 14 runs during the eight winless games the team has played on Mondays this season. And if you break it down, Atlanta has scored five runs on Mondays in the entire month of May and nine runs on Mondays in April. It’s times like this when fans start lovingly referring to the team as the Barves. At the moment, the Barves are tied with the Phillies for last place. I have no doubt that Philadelphia will start rebounding once Chase Utley and Ryan Howard come off the DL, so it is imperative that Atlanta gets this Manic Monday syndrome under control. Either that or we just need to take Mondays off the calendar.
It also hasn’t helped that the team has been bitten with the injury bug, taking out the likes of Chipper Jones, Brian McCann, Freddie Freeman and David Ross. While all of these issues are temporary, when you take the first three out of the batting order for four straight days, it’s bound to negatively impact the team. McCann came back yesterday after his bout with the flu. Chipper has been relegated to the DL following Ross’s groin injury, which necessitated calling up a third catcher. And Freeman has been having blurry vision and is simply awaiting prescription glasses to arrive. All in all, it’s just been a shitty run of bad luck.
And while I’m on this rant, I just want to accentuate how much Chipper means to this team. Atlanta’s record with Jones is an impressive 19-5 this season. The team’s record without the veteran third baseman is a measly 7-19. He may not be the most powerful slugger on the team anymore, but, clearly, his presence in the lineup makes a difference. I don’t mean to sound negative, but I really fear for this team next year. They need someone of Chipper’s caliber to be the team leader, but I don’t see anyone on the roster ready to step into that role. Their best bet is McCann … if they can keep him around after his contract expires following the 2013 season.