While the Atlanta Braves were enjoying an almost double-digit lead in the National League Eastern division, the fact that they struggled to win on the road was bothersome at most but no big deal. After a very bad road trip last time out the Braves started a series in Milwaukee against the Milwaukee Brewers with the now familiar silent treatment where their big bats suddenly go completely quiet for a night or series at a time. The only problem is that the road woes have gotten worse this month of June and the Washington Nationals are now once again visible in the Braves rear-view mirror.
To be clear it isn’t bad to have a five game lead. The only reason that is a problem at all is because a very short time ago that lead was up to as much as 7.5 games. That is where the lead rested at the beginning of the Braves last road trip to the West Coast. From that point they have lost six of their last eight on the road. Considering Milwaukee is historically a tough place for the Braves to play, this does not bode well for this road trip which also includes a quick stop in Kansas City.
Road woes are at the worst possible point when the home games don’t go as planned. The Braves lost three of five games in a five game series with the New York Mets. That is okay but it set them up to need a good start to the road trip, something they haven’t done much this year at all. At this point the Braves have a choice. They can either get their road trouble under control or watch the Nationals get closer and closer in that mirror. If they aren’t going to improve road play, in other words, they should really just pull to the shoulder and wave the Nats on passed.