Know Your Foe: Do the Atlanta Braves simply have the Rockies' number?

Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

For some reason, whenever the Rockies go to Atlanta they turn into a bunch of zombies

Turner Field is a house of horrors for the Rockies. Something about Atlanta just doesn't sit will with Colorado, because they lose with authority there. Since 2010 the Rockies have scratched out a grand total of two victories at the Braves' home park. The other 13 contests went to the Tomahawk Choppers. Brutal.

But this year the Braves might actually be vulnerable. Because--you might have heard about this--a few pitchers have gotten injured this year. Starters Brandon Beachy and Kris Medlen are both out for the year as they went under the knife of Dr. James Andrews, patron saint of Tommy John surgery. Relievers Johnny Venters, Jordan Walden, and Cory Gearrin are various levels of banged up. Those are some talented arms on the shelf.

Of course, this is the Atlanta Braves, and their pitching hasn't skipped a beat. Why? Because they signed old, washed-up Aaron Harang, who must be feasting vampirically on the essence of all the snapped UCLs in the world, because he has turned into one of the very best starters in the league. That would be like if the Rockies' Jon Garland signing last year led to him being 7th in fWAR in late May. Didn't happen for us. Happened for the Braves. Baseball is a cruel sport.

Starters Mike Minor, Ervin Santana, Gavin Floyd, and Julio Teheran have all been various levels of excellent this year as well. That unit of starters easily leads the National League in runs allowed and ERA, and second place isn't even in the same zip code.

That's fortunate for them, because the Braves really do not score runs. At all. Only the hapless Padres have crossed home plate fewer times. The Rockies have already scored 102 more runs than the Braves.

Most of the Braves lineup has been various shades of disappointing. The only regulars to have a wRC+ above 100 are Justin Upton, Freddie Freeman, and Evan Gattis. Jason Heyward has a .661 OPS. Chris Johnson, who battled Michale Cuddyer for the batting championship last year, is hitting an empty .266. BJ Upton, who is striking out at a prodigious rate, is hitting right at .200. Dan Uggla has completely forgotten how to be a baseball player, and is losing playing time. Not that replacement Tyler Pastornicky has been much better.

So right now the Braves are like the anti-Rockies: a team with unassailable run prevention abilities, but flat out can't score. They have basically the same record (Braves are 26-20) and are also extremely tough at home where they are seven games over .500.

This series might be one of those Unstoppable Force Collides with Immovable Object type things. Will the Rockies' potent lineup overcome Atlanta's lights-out pitching? Only time will tell.

2-13? Crap. I'd be happy with one win out of three.

Atlanta Braves Hitting

Name G PA HR R RBI SB BB% K% ISO BABIP AVG OBP SLG wRC+ BsR Off Def WAR
Justin Upton 44 184 12 25 26 4 10.90% 30.40% 0.288 0.376 0.294 0.377 0.581 165 -0.2 13.4 0.7 2.1
Jason Heyward 44 198 3 18 11 8 10.60% 18.70% 0.092 0.289 0.241 0.328 0.333 90 2.3 -0.1 11 1.8
Freddie Freeman 46 198 9 27 28 0 10.10% 15.20% 0.224 0.324 0.305 0.384 0.529 155 -1.1 11.2 -6.3 1.2
Evan Gattis 36 131 8 14 18 0 6.10% 22.90% 0.246 0.259 0.246 0.29 0.492 113 -0.8 1.1 3.3 0.9
Andrelton Simmons 43 165 4 12 12 0 3.00% 8.50% 0.158 0.275 0.272 0.291 0.43 95 -1 -1.9 3.2 0.7
Chris Johnson 45 176 1 10 9 1 2.80% 25.00% 0.077 0.352 0.266 0.29 0.343 75 1.2 -3.8 1.6 0.3
B.J. Upton 43 175 4 17 10 7 10.30% 32.60% 0.135 0.284 0.2 0.282 0.335 73 0.7 -4.6 1.9 0.3
Ramiro Pena 25 61 2 5 6 0 11.50% 27.90% 0.151 0.235 0.189 0.283 0.34 72 0.3 -1.6 1.2 0.1
Gerald Laird 17 55 0 3 1 0 10.90% 25.50% 0.041 0.257 0.184 0.273 0.224 38 -0.1 -4 2.1 0
Tyler Pastornicky 18 33 0 3 2 0 9.10% 24.20% 0.069 0.286 0.207 0.281 0.276 57 -0.3 -1.9 0.2 -0.1
Jordan Schafer 29 33 0 2 2 3 9.10% 21.20% 0.071 0.143 0.107 0.194 0.179 5 1.1 -2.5 0.6 -0.1
Ryan Doumit 28 50 1 2 7 0 2.00% 20.00% 0.102 0.289 0.245 0.26 0.347 66 -0.3 -2.2 -1.8 -0.3
Dan Uggla 32 121 2 12 10 0 5.80% 26.40% 0.082 0.234 0.182 0.248 0.264 44 0.6 -7.1 0.5 -0.3

Atlanta Braves Pitching

Name W L SV G GS IP K/9 BB/9 HR/9 BABIP LOB% GB% HR/FB ERA FIP xFIP WAR
Aaron Harang 4 4 0 10 10 59.2 9.65 2.72 0.3 0.327 68.80% 38.40% 3.20% 3.32 2.31 3.26 1.7
Craig Kimbrel 0 0 12 18 0 17.1 17.13 3.63 0 0.355 75.00% 46.70% 0.00% 2.08 0.81 1.42 1
Ervin Santana 4 2 0 8 8 52.2 8.2 2.39 0.68 0.32 75.80% 45.30% 9.10% 3.42 3.03 3.13 0.9
Alex Wood 4 5 0 12 7 52 9.35 1.9 1.04 0.343 81.90% 43.40% 12.20% 3.29 3.18 2.91 0.8
Julio Teheran 3 3 0 10 10 70.1 6.91 2.3 1.02 0.214 86.50% 39.70% 9.40% 1.92 3.86 3.96 0.6
David Hale 1 0 0 12 4 34.1 4.98 3.93 0 0.248 81.00% 51.90% 0.00% 1.57 3.35 4.5 0.4
Anthony Varvaro 1 0 0 17 0 15 13.2 1.8 0.6 0.333 80.90% 48.50% 9.10% 2.4 1.6 1.69 0.4
Gavin Floyd 0 1 0 3 3 18.2 8.2 2.41 0.48 0.339 70.30% 50.90% 7.70% 2.41 3.06 3.28 0.3
David Carpenter 3 0 2 22 0 20.1 10.62 2.21 0.89 0.345 78.50% 26.80% 8.30% 2.66 2.87 3.13 0.3
Ian Thomas 1 1 0 14 0 9 12 4 0 0.348 75.00% 38.10% 0.00% 3 1.73 2.75 0.2
Jordan Walden 0 0 1 14 0 12.1 13.86 4.38 0.73 0.28 79.40% 50.00% 11.10% 2.92 2.5 2.4 0.2
Mike Minor 2 2 0 4 4 23.2 7.99 2.28 1.52 0.314 83.30% 35.20% 16.70% 3.8 4.25 3.38 0.1
Pedro Beato 0 0 0 1 0 1.2 0 0 0 0.167 100.00% 16.70% 0.00% 0 3.06 6.21 0
Luis Avilan 3 1 0 21 0 14.2 6.75 3.68 0.61 0.362 75.20% 58.70% 16.70% 4.3 3.68 3.33 0
Gus Schlosser 0 1 0 9 0 11 4.91 2.45 0.82 0.188 52.10% 38.70% 9.10% 4.91 4.25 4.37 -0.1

Probable Pitchers

Friday: Jordan Lyles vs. Gavin Floyd

Saturday: Juan Nicasio vs. Mike Minor

Sunday: Franklin Morales vs. Julio Teheran

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