The Braves went 13-16 in May, leading some of us to wonder whether the June swoon may have come a month early this year.
The June swoon is what happened to us in June 2006, when the Braves went 6-21, wrecking the season and gradually persuading fans that the longest division streak in baseball history was about to come crashing to a halt. (The Braves were 73-62 in all other months that year.)
The thing is, outside of that single season, the “June Swoon” is mostly a myth. The Braves were 292-248 in June over the 20 seasons from 1994 to 2013, including the 2006 debacle. Basically, the Braves were incredibly good in June from 1994 to 2005 — 188-137, a .578 winning percentage — and then pretty miserable from 2006-2009, as they went 41-67 in June. (That included 13-15 in 2007, 11-16 in 2008, and 11-15 in 2009.) Then they went back to being awesome in 2010, and they were 63-44 in the last four seasons.
None of this means anything, of course. But it does mean that there’s basically no such thing as the June Swoon. By many measures, this is a stronger lineup than the one we trotted out on March 31, since Mike Minor and Ervin Santana are now healthy, and Tommy La Stella is our second baseman. I think there are a lot of reasons to hope that the Braves will have a better June than May.
The Mariners are a bit like an extreme version of us. They can pitch, but they really really can’t hit. Their home park suppresses scoring so much that they’ve actually been a better team on the road than at home.