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Craziest Braves Team Ever?


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This careening crew is surely the craziest Braves’ team ever

11:23 pm August 10, 2010, by Mark Bradley

This is getting like 1991, except that 1991 was never this crazy. After the All-Star break, those Braves played championship baseball on a nightly basis. We can’t know what to expect from the 2010 Braves from inning to inning, let alone night to night.

Tuesday’s game might have been the wildest since Rick Camp put off the Fourth of July fireworks with an 18th-inning home run on July 5. The Braves entered the ninth inning with more errors than hits and with more sore knees to indispensable players as runs.

They trailed 2-1 after another defensive cratering, and Chipper Jones wasn’t around because he’d gotten hurt and Jason Heyward wasn’t in the lineup because he’d hurt something, too.

Naturally, the Braves won. Brooks Conrad hit one of his ninth-inning homers. (Although the guy is slipping. Usually he drives in four runs with one swing. This time only two. Me, I blame Terry Pendleton.) Then Troy Glaus, who hadn’t hit a home run since the Rally Monkey World Series of 2002 — OK, I exaggerate slightly — hit a home run. Then Billy Wagner, who’s sometimes the Sandman and sometimes just a sad man, worked a 1-2-3 ninth.

And just like that, a game going wrong wound up increasing the Braves’ lead over Philly from 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 games. Didn’t matter that Alex Gonzalez had made another error. Didn’t matter that a big Jair Jurrjens start appeared all but wasted. The Braves won.

I’ve been around a while, but I’ve never seen a team like this. There are times these Braves look like the ‘62 Mets, and still they cling to first place. No, it’s not good news that Chipper Jones is set to undergo an MRI on Thursday, but when a year starts with Heyward hitting a homer on his first big-league swing and gets only wilder by the week … well, don’t you get the feeling the baseball gods are looking out for this team?

Because something otherworldly is ongoing here. Because this team is never better than when it looks like it’s finished. I can’t explain and you can’t explain and Joe Simpson can’t explain it, but there it is.

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