They had a winning record (18-15) in that span mainly because of a 3.07 ERA — even better than their majors-leading 3.19 for the season.
After leading the National League in homers (114) and ranking third in slugging percentage (.412) before the All-Star break, the Braves were fourth in homers and eighth in slugging (.388) since the break before Tuesday. Their .317 OBP since the break was seventh, after ranking third (.324) before.
Can the Braves, who hope to get Heyward back by late September, get the offense turned around by October?
“When we’re a good team — and we’ve been a good offensive team for long stretches — everybody falls in love with us and says, ‘Man, they’re really good,’” Walker said. “And when we go bad everybody says, ‘Oh, they stink.’ Well, if I told you I know which team is going to show up in October — I have no idea. But I know they’ll continue to work to get there.”
Manager Fredi Gonzalez was asked Tuesday whether the Braves were built well for the postseason.
“Yeah,” he said. “We’ve got good pitching. You look at our rotation, you can arguably say we don’t have a No. 1, but we’ve got four No. 2’s. Or four No. 3’s. And they compete their butts off. And the postseason, the offensive stuff? You don’t know. The teams that do stuff during (the regular season) may not do it during the postseason. It’s just getting in.”
Clemente Award nominee: Pitcher Tim Hudson is the Braves' nominee for the 2012 Roberto Clemente Award, which recognizes a player who best represents baseball on and off the field. The Hudson Family Foundation has raised more than $700,000 for children and families in Georgia and Alabama.