Chopcast: Combined no-hitter underscores Braves’ offensive struggles

The Atlanta Braves rank 29th in runs scored this season.

Brett Davis/Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

Back in May, the Philadelphia Phillies were on the wrong side of a no-hitter, watching Dodgers veteran Josh Becket cruise through their lineup en route to a 6-0 win. The Phils returned the favor on Labor Day — only they took it out on the Braves in a combined no-hitter between four different pitchers, spearheaded by starter Cole Hamels.

Given the looks of MLB’s team rankings on offense, the fact that this Braves team was one of the four victims of a no-hitter in 2014 comes as little surprise. They rank 29th in runs scored, 23rd in batting average and 22nd in weighted runs created.

The list of teams boasting less productive offenses is a short one.

So if it was going to happen, Atlanta was a prime candidate.

(And don’t be fooled by the cover photo of Jason Heyward, he’s been fine at the top of the order. In fact, on a day when the Braves’ offense hit another low point, he walked twice and stole three bases. The problems lie elsewhere.)

The Braves are only 1 1/2 games back of the wildcard race, but after scoring just one run in the past 27 innings, it’s clear the team’s issues are not in the future but in the present.

Nothing is out of reach, but they are treading water — perhaps even sinking a bit. (Luckily, other wildcard teams aren’t doing much either.) The Braves are 20-23 since the All-Star break and 6-6 in their past 12 games. Our writers discuss the offense’s latest hiccup, the NL wildcard hunt and more in the latest episode of the Chopcast: