Atlanta Braves 2011 Report Card: Grading the Pitchers

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Atlanta Braves 2011 Report Card: Grading the Pitchers
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images
Injuries to the Braves pitching staff were a big part of the late season collapse.

The Atlanta Braves late season collapse can partly be attributed to injuries, especially the losses of star pitchers Tommy Hanson and Jair Jurrjens, which forced manager Fredi Gonzalez to start some inexperienced rookies in the middle of a pennant race.

Not only did the starting rotation face injuries, but the back end of the bullpen also lost key reliever Peter Moylan for almost the entire season.

When healthy, the Braves staff was very strong, as Jurrjens, Craig Kimbrel, and Jonny Venters all had stellar seasons, while Hanson ranked among the biggest All-Star snubs.

The emergence of Kimbrel and setup man Eric O'Flaherty gave the Braves the best bullpen in the league, and the rotation was very good, with the exception of Derek Lowe.

This article will do the same as my previous article on the Atlanta hitters grade each player's 2011 season and examine what went right or wrong.

I do not include the following pitchers because of a limited number of games, making them tough to grade fairly and accurately: Kris Medlen, Cory Gearrin and Jairo Asencio. 

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