The positive though is that the Braves are four and a half games up in the division going into tonight. My question is, could they, and should they be up by more?
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The Atlanta starting lineup Wednesday night had a combined batting average of .208. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that is horrendous. Thursday night they started a lineup that had a combined average of .272. Gattis started in left, Schafer in center, Chris Johnson at third and Ramiro Pena at second base.
Now, I understand that guys like Schafer and Pena haven’t been everyday players, but it is getting to the point where you might want to give them a try. How much worse can it be?
Think about it this way; is it easier to increase your average, or to have your average fall? What I am saying is, let’s just say that Pena and Schafer don’t hit as well as everyday players, as they are now. Do you really believe that they will go into such a slump that they will bring their averages down below the Mendoza line?
I’m not trying to make you believe that Thursday night’s lineup is going to win the Braves the World Series, but just by the numbers, it is much better than the alternatives. Gonzalez is not wrong for playing B.J. Upton, Dan Uggla, and Jason Heyward this long, because you have to give them a chance to get out of their slump.
When is it time to call it quits with those guys, though?
I have written about the money that they are owed, so has my friend and colleague, Jim Hart. At some point this season, a line in the sand is going to have to be drawn. These guys either need to turn it up, and hit on a more consistent basis, or someone else should get a shot. It sounds elementary, but at this point, either hit the ball or hit the bench.