The Atlanta Braves season got off to a bit of a rocky start with the bullpen unable to keep the Braves close and completely collapsing in the 7th. Just one game in is the Braves bullpen already an obvious weakness?
When the game was turned over to the Atlanta Braves bullpen Monday afternoon the game was knotted at zero. Just a half inning later and the Braves were down six runs and wound up losing the game by the six runs.
The bullpen was to blame for the Braves loss but Matt Kemp deserves at least equal blame for being unable to bring Freddie Freeman in twice with less than two outs. The Braves bullpen had one rough game, it was one of the ugliest innings that we will likely see all season but it also would be an overreaction to judge the bullpen on one game.
Ian Krol and Eric O’Flaherty both collapsed in the 7th inning allowing the Mets to take control of the game. Both relievers will assuredly have to gain back trust before being put in high leverage situations again. One bad outing doesn’t define a bullpen that does have a fair amount of talent.
The biggest deciding factor in if this is a good bullpen or not is if Jim Johnson can play at the level he did at the end of last season. O’Flarhery and Krol are both above average relievers at their best and are going to have to find a way to put the season opener behind them quickly this season.
Mauricio Cabrera has started the season on the disabled list as well and will give the back end of the bullpen a big boost once he is healthy. The Braves bullpen may not be the best in the league but it will improve and find ways to get outs.