|Braves season over, Chipper next?|
Written by Daniel Paulling (Contact & Archive) on April 29, 2010
What a difference 22 games make.
The Braves drew plenty of hype during the offseason, and they had an excellent spring training. Jason Heyward zoomed to the top of prospect lists because of his otherworldly combination of talents. The starting rotation, despite losing ace Javier Vazquez, was deep with starting pitchers who could provide quality innings. Manager Bobby Cox would be ending his Hall of Fame career at season's end.
Twenty-two games into the season, the Braves' 2010 season is over.
You may be thinking it's premature to make any judgments about the season. We're only about one-eighth into the season. But the Braves' current losing streak tells us all we need to know: They just aren't that good.
The Braves have lost nine consecutive games after Thursday's 10-4 loss to the Cardinals. (It's the first time they have lost all games on a seven-game road trip since 1949.) A nine-game losing streak isn't enough to eliminate them. What eliminates the Braves is that their nine-game losing streak proves how bad they actually are. Good teams don't lose this many games in a row this badly.
The Braves had scored just 21 runs in 11 games going into Thursday's game. Their starting pitching was in shambles. Chipper Jones is hurt once again, while Troy Glaus -- admittedly, a move I praised in the offseason -- doesn't look like a Major League player anymore.
Jones may join Cox in retirement after this season. It's obvious Jones is playing through plenty of pain. Balls he would've knocked down and gotten hitters out on are turning into hits into the left field corner. He looks horrible trying to run the bases. Jones appears closer to the finish line than most Braves fans may hope.
They're already 4 1/2 games behind a Phillies team they couldn't afford to fall too far behind. They've already dug themselves too big of a hole to climb out of. For a season that started with so much promise, 2010 is going to for the Braves how nobody scripted it.