The Atlanta Braves were playing sub-.500 ball until early August. In fact, they were in third place in the NL East with a 52-55 record entering play on August 3. They went 36-18 in the final third of the season, which was enough to win the NL East by 6.5 games and, eventually, win the World Series. The Colorado Rockies faced the Braves six times in those final 54 games and they won four of them.
But the Colorado Rockies can still learn a lot from the Atlanta Braves on how to build a winning team.
Here are three things that the Colorado Rockies should learn from the Atlanta Braves.
1) The Colorado Rockies must improve the bullpen
In today’s game, a good bullpen is the biggest key to having a playoff team and the Atlanta Braves are a prime example.
Here are the top teams by bullpen ERA from August 3 on:
- Giants, 2.38 (best record in baseball)
- Dodgers 2.48 (2nd-best record in baseball
- New York Yankees 3.16 (2nd AL Wild Card team)
- Atlanta 3.34 (World Series Champions)
In the playoffs, if you include their “starters,” who were actually relievers used as a “starter” in a bullpen game, the Braves bullpen had an ERA of 3.32 in 78 2/3 IP in the postseason.
The Colorado Rockies bullpen, overall, on the season was 26th (4.91 ERA). It did improve as the Rockies bullpen ERA was 16th from August 3 through the rest of the season (4.14 ERA) but it is nowhere near where the Rockies need it to be contenders.