After surge to .500, Braves have plummeted

It seems long ago, but the Braves had the second-best record in the National League from June 1-July 16, going 23-16 in that stretch, which was capped by a three-game sweep against the Diamondbacks that moved the Braves’ record to 45-45 on July 16.

But since then the Braves had just 10 wins in 33 games entering Tuesday night’s middle game of a three-game series against the Mariners. Their 23 losses dating to July 17 were tied for the most in the majors in that period and dropped the Braves to a season-high 13 games under .500 for the second time before Tuesday.

Their offense has been inconsistent during the recent slide, but not nearly as disappointing as the pitching. Braves pitchers had a 5.29 ERA since July 17 that ranked 14th in the NL, and their 4.18 walks issued per nine innings pitched in that span was the highest in the league.

The Braves’ 55-68 record before Tuesday was still good for third place in the National League East, that has only one team over .500 (Washington, 74-48 before Tuesday). But the Braves were only one game ahead of the Mets, and the Braves’ 20-29 record against division opponents easily is the worst in the NL East. The Marlins (23-25) were the only other NL East team with a below-.500 record against division opponents.