You know, the band Failure is back. That’s really cool, because I only just started getting into them, and they hadn’t been an active band in more than a decade. I’m hoping I’ll get to see them live. Also, their last album, Forgotten Planet, is full of incredibly depressing songs like the above, which begins with the fairly apropos lyric, “Right now we’re sick of everything.”
So let’s start there. The 2014 Braves had a great first half, and they did exactly one merciful thing in the second half: they did not toy with our emotions. They took a nosedive and stayed down. Despite a catastrophic series of injuries to the pitching staff — a disturbing specialty this franchise has developed — the pitching was really quite good. Well, the rotation was good. The bullpen was pretty erratic, outside of Kimbrel, Walden, and two months of Shae Simmons. The defense was pretty good, so long as they didn’t hit the ball at Justin Upton, Chris Johnson, or Freddie Freeman.
The offense, however…
The offense was a Scared Straight video. It was a portrait of Dorian Grey. It was a suffocating Quato. It was a malformed, misshapen wreck. That was what it looked like in April. It didn’t get any better than that.
Tonight, the Braves got shut out again. This time, it happened to be the Nationals, which meant that they got to celebrate their division championship in Atlanta, which was apt. The Braves all but knitted the pennant flag for them. There will probably be some amount of cleaning house on the team, but not too much, because firing someone is a tacit admission of poor judgment, and whoever is doing the firing — whether it’s Wren considering whether to fire Fredi, or McGuirk considering whether to fire Wren, or heaven forbid, Liberty considering whether to fire McGuirk — will want to save face.
For now, the Braves have to play out the remaining 11 games, and about the only thing left to play for is a .500 record. This team is long past showing pride or backbone, but it would be nice to avoid a losing season. Even though it would be a polite fiction: this has been a losing team since April turned to May.