As frustrating as it is to watch an inconsistent, often non-existent, offense, that is what Atlanta and baseball fans across the country need to get used to.Â I am not suggesting that fans accept bad baseball, but we all need to examine the cause(s).Â In my opinion they are two fold, excellent pitching and lack of steroids.Â If you are looking for the home run races of the late 90s- early 2000s, you need to find something else to watch.
Did we not just go through Congressional hearings to eliminate the very thing that put that excitement into baseball?Â Although Bud Selig and baseball will not take responsibility for the steroid era, we all know, or should know, that baseball turned a blind eye to bring fans back to the game.Â It worked, but guess what, now that we are back to the days of 2-1 pitching duals, most fan bases are looking for heads to roll.Â Fredi Gonzalez went so far as to use Jason Heyward in the lead off spot, making him the biggest lead off man of all time.Â The skipper has even said to have considered Tony Larussa’s line up of batting the pitcher 8th just to shake things up.
It has to be someone’s fault, does it not?Â It cannot have anything to do with the fact that clubs started putting more into the development of young pitchers, so as not to get hit like it is batting practice.Â Now, the cutter that once thrown by only a handful of pitchers, is only not thrown in some variation by few.Â We also see guys going fewer innings because ofÂ highly specialized bullpens that are ready and waiting to come in to face one or two batters.Â Not to mention that the five man rotation is relatively new baseball terms.
So, we have smaller hitters with slower bat speeds, pitchers developed more thoroughly and throwing pitches that few dared throw a few years ago, and fresher, highly specialized pitching staffs.Â You are all correct, we should fire every hitting coach and start over because there is no reason for offense to be down.Â Yes, you are also correct in thinking your team has it the worst, and that none of your so called hitters should have contracts.
It is difficult to see teams that should be red hot offensively struggle.Â All of the factors I mentioned before do lead to frustrated hitters trying everything to combat the problem, only to make it worse.Â Â Like most situations, we will see a correction.Â Hitters and coaches will hyper focus on how to beat these guys, and eventually will be able to key in on them more frequently.Â Notice I said more frequently, do not ever expect to see 1998 again.
Having said all this, as a lifelong baseball fan, I have always looked at a high scoring game as a weak pitching night.Â Home runs, like those hit by Brian McCann and Freddie Freeman to lift the Braves over Seattle, are that much more exciting when they are the difference in the ballgame.Â Someone said to me just this week that the best thing about baseball is that until that last out, there is always a chance.Â How much more excitement do you need?Â I guess it is just which side of the inning you are on as to whether it is great pitching or poor hitting.
The Braves look to continue their run of great pitching with the return of Tommy Hanson to the line up from the disabled list.