From the very start of the 2013 Major League Baseball season the Atlanta Braves have been the class of the National League East and one of the better teams in the game. No matter what the naysayers may say, a team isn’t 30 games over .500 without a ton good things going their way. One of the more important factors all season long will also be one of the main factors in the 2013 MLB postseason. That is the depth of the best bullpen in the game.
Literally the Braves bullpen had the best ERA in all of baseball this season with a mark of 2.46. Their 1.14 WHIP was second in all of MLB only to the Kansas City Royals’ 1.13. That is plenty enough to brag about without the troubling truth of injuries this bunch suffered. Arguably two of the best left-handed relievers in all of baseball, Eric O’Flaherty and Jonny Venters both went down early in the season needing Tommy John Surgery. From there the emergence of newly signed Jordan Walden mattered a great deal as did the performance of several other relievers.
Scott Downs came in at just the right time until his glove hand had a finger broken on it. Now David Carpenter has stepped up. On and on it goes, down to superb rookie Alex Wood being available as a lefty in the bullpen or long-man. However far this team goes, it will be based on the success and the depth of their ‘pen. If they have more aces in the hole and more guys that step up for the next few weeks, they can absolutely win it all. If everyone runs out of gas at the same time, they’re one and done.