Braves in Middle of West Coast Woe Trip

Nic GulasSenior Analyst IJuly 12, 2008

It was suppose to be like any other road trip to the West Coast.  Take on two teams and make it back in time for an off-day Monday.

Instead, the Atlanta Braves have turned a dismal season on the road into a disaster in the past week. 

Coming off a thrilling 7-6, 17-inning win against Houston before leaving home, the Braves have done a total nose dive in Los Angeles and San Diego.

The Braves are currently 1-3 on the road trip, and so far it's nothing to remember and nothing to blame on the pitching staff. 

Although the starters are also 1-3, they have only allowed eight runs in 24 innings.  Opposing teams have only managed 18 hits in those 36 innings.

But the offense has been anything but a help.

Outside of the 9-3 win over the Dodgers on Tuesday, the Braves have been one-hit, two-hit, shutout twice and only scoring one run in the other loss. 

Out of the 36 innings in the road trip so far, the Braves have only scored in five of them. 

Also in those 36 innings, the Braves have gone 1-2-3 in an inning 20 times.  That is due in part to both Derek Lowe and Hiroki Kuroda taking perfect games into the 6th inning. 

The offense may be struggling as a whole, but the one suffering the most on the trip is Chipper Jones. 

Chipper left Atlanta with a .388 average, his lowest average in months.  The road trip has only hurt him more.

Jones is currently 1-14 on the road trip with five strikeouts and one walk.  The slump has tanked his average even further to .373. 

Although the average is still the best in the Majors, this is the same hitter who was in the .400s just three weeks ago. 

Even with all these struggles, the Braves reached the 50-loss mark on the season last night, there is still a chance to salvage the season. 

The Braves have two more games in San Diego before the much needed All-Star Break.  Outside of Brian McCann and Chipper, the rest of the team will have four days all to themselves before returning to Turner Field against the last-place Nationals. 

The hope is the break will rejuvenate the team to go on a late season push for what seems a very distant shot at the playoffs being 7.5 games behind the first-place Phillies. 

A good place to start toward a turn-around would be tonight against the Padres.