At the urging of John Smoltz (and just about every resident of the city of Atlanta), John Scheurholz went out and traded for a closer.

The Braves just picked up Indians reliever Bob Wickman, who hasn’t exactly been automatic this season, but who has been good over the last few weeks and will be a DRAMATIC improvement over everybody else the Braves have used to close out games this year.

So now that the Braves have a closer and their offense has come to life, can the team win the wild card? Why stop there — is there any chance that the Braves will catch the Mets, whose pitching is starting to head south with Pedro Martinez both injured and ill and Tom Glavine rapidly aging?

I’ll tell you what, you can feel the excitement here in Atlanta. Even in this city notorious for lackluster fans who don’t even buy tickets until the team makes the world series, there is an energy. Everybody loves an underdog. And make no mistake, this Braves team is an underdog. Anytime you’re in the same division as the carefree-spending Mets and the Mets are 12 games in front, you’re an underdog. Doesn’t matter if you’ve won the division 14 years in a row.

And I never thought I’d say this. But let’s face it, the Phillies aren’t going anywhere and I just HATE the Mets. So…(oh god, I’m gonna regret this)…go Bravos!

5 Responses to “The Braves will never lose again”

  1. Has your mind entirely warped to the point where you think that Bob Wickman is going to save you? Coley, you need to come back north and get away from the glaring Southern sun. This is Bob Wickman. He is not a DRAMATIC improvement over Ken Ray. I’m not convinced that he’s an improvement at all. Ray has a better OBA, OOBP, OSLG, OOPS, K/9, K/BB, ERA, etc, etc, etc.

    Opponents are batting .282 off of Wickman. .282. And closers need to be able to strike batters out. He’s not the guy you call on in the 8th inning when your set-up man has put runners on second and third with a one run lead. He has 17Ks all year. He’s a “closer” by name but has the skill-set of a middle reliever. I’m not saying that Ken Ray’s a good option at closer, but I am willing to argue that he’s better than Bob Wickman. Compare the numbers. It’s not even that close. Yes, Ray blew a couple of saves. It happens. He didn’t pitch badly at all during his tenure as closer, he just got unlucky. And let me reiterate. He’s Bob Wickman. He gets hit. Hard. It’s a lateral move by the Braves.

  2. That’s not “an energy” taking over the city. It’s just oppressive humidity. Still, nobody cares in Atlanta.

  3. A-Rod last July (roughly the same as this July):
    .281, 8 HR, 15 RBI

    A-Rod last August:
    .324, 12HR, 24 RBI

    He was booed last year at this time when the Yanks trailed the Sox by a game and cheered when his bat came alive as the Yanks stole the division. He surged last August/September (even stealing 11 bases in that time) and I assume he’ll do it again.

    They’ll boo him again next July at the stadium.

  4. Sarah Green says:

    You might be right. His offensive inconsistency might be a pattern. But defensively, he already has six more errors on the season than he did in all of last year.

  5. Nick Kapur says:

    Greatest picture of ARod ever?

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