There have been quite a few events in the Braves season, and I decided to investigate what impact those events have had on the Braves record this season. The five events I chose are the injury to Freddie Freeman, the signing of Matt Adams, the designation (and eventual release) of Bartolo Colon, the return of Freeman, and the trading of Jaime Garcia to the Twins. This chart shows the relationship of the Braves record to .500 after each game this season, with those events plotted. For fun, I also added a 20 game moving average.
What we can see is that the season has broken up into 4 “periods”. First, the dramatic streakiness of the first few weeks of the season. Second, the relative stability at around 6 games below .500 when Freeman was injured and Adams was brought in. Third, the high point of the summer when the Braves were around 2-3 games under .500 and hit the .500 mark after finishing a sweep of Diamondbacks on July 16th. Fourth, the current period in which the Braves have seen a precipitous decline after trading away Jaime Garcia. This could be explained by a turn to younger pitchers, a feeling in the clubhouse that the team had given up on the season, or the loss of a positive dugout psychological force in Garcia. That’s probably not answerable, but it does seem that the trade of Garcia has had more an impact on the record than the other four events. Of course, the next month or so will tell us if the Braves are in a hiccup or a new “normal” down around 8 games below .500 or worse.