1985 Atlanta Braves season

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1985 Atlanta Braves
Major League affiliations
Location
Results
Record 66–96 (.407)
Divisional place 5th
Other information
Owner(s) Ted Turner
General manager(s) John Mullen
Manager(s) Eddie Haas, Bobby Wine
Local television WTBS
Superstation WTBS
Local radio WSB
(Ernie Johnson, Pete Van Wieren, Skip Caray, John Sterling)
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The 1985 Atlanta Braves season was the 115th season in franchise history. The Braves failed to qualify for the postseason for the third consecutive season.

Offseason[edit]

Managerial turnover[edit]

Joe Torre had managed the Braves to the 1982 National League West Division title, then to a second-place 1983 finish (three games from the division title). But his 1984 Braves fell below the .500 mark and 12 lengths behind the division-champion San Diego Padres. Torre was fired at when the 1984 campaign ended[3] and replaced by coach Eddie Haas, who had been a successful pilot in the Braves' farm system. But Haas' appointment did not rouse the 1985 Braves, who were at 50–71 (.413), in fifth place in the NL West and mired in a six-game losing streak when Haas was relieved of his duties August 25.[4] Haas' immediate successor, coach Bobby Wine, finished the season and compiled a 16–25 (.390) mark. During the offseason, the Braves would hire former Pittsburgh Pirates skipper Chuck Tanner as their 1986 manager.

Regular season[edit]

In addition to a new manager, the 1985 Braves had a new relief ace in Bruce Sutter. They also had slugger Bob Horner in the lineup and Dale Murphy was back as well.

The Braves started the season 4–1 but lost three consecutive games to the Reds at home to fall to .500. A 9–5 win over the Astros on Friday, April 19, gave the Braves a 5–4 record, good enough for second place, a half-game out. However, the Braves would not be above the .500 mark again. They lost three straight games to drop into fifth place with a 5–7 mark. Later, the Braves beat the Reds twice, 8–4 and 17–9 to even their record at 10–10, and to climb within a game of first place. This was on May 1, and the Braves led the National League in runs scored.

Things changed quickly, however. The Braves not only lost eight of their next ten games (May 3–14), they were also shut out four consecutive games (May 8–12). They were held to only one run in each of the two games that followed, one of which was a win. The 12–18 Braves were in last place, six games out. Atlanta improved to 16–19 and 412 games out of first following a 3–0 win over Chicago on May 19. The Braves then lost three straight to the Cardinals, the beginning of a 4–11 stretch that lowered their record to 20–30 on June 7. Atlanta was 1012 games behind at that point and the Braves' situation was becoming precarious. They won their next three games by impressive margins, 7–3 and 10–3 over Los Angeles and 70 over San Francisco. By June 28, Atlanta was 33–38 and 912 games of first place. They were mired in fifth place, however.

The Braves lost nine of their next 11 games and were 35–47 on July 10, in fifth place and 12 games out. The swept the Philadelphia Phillies in four games just before the All-Star Break. Atlanta was 39–47 at the half, in fifth place and 912 out.

The Braves were 49–59 on August 11, in fifth place and 15 games out. It was basically over for the Braves, with no real chance at first place. Atlanta lost six in a row and were 16 games below the .500 mark, the first time since 1979. After a 6–3 win over San Diego halted the losing streak the Braves lost six straight again. At this point the Braves were 50–71 and 22 games out of first, Haas was fired and Wine took the helm. The Braves won their first five games under the new manager. However, they fizzled out with an 11–25 finish that dropped them to 66–96 and 29 games out of first place. Thanks to the San Francisco Giants' even poorer performance, the Braves avoided last place and finished in fifth place, a position they had held for all but one day since May 15.

Season standings[edit]

NL West W L GB Pct.
Los Angeles Dodgers 95 67 -- .586
Cincinnati Reds 89 72 5.5 .553
Houston Astros 83 79 12.0 .512
San Diego Padres 83 79 12.0 .512
Atlanta Braves 66 96 29.0 .407
San Francisco Giants 62 100 33.0 .383

Notable transactions[edit]

Roster[edit]

1985 Atlanta Braves
Roster
Pitchers Catchers

Infielders

Outfielders Manager

Coaches

In the front office: Bobby Cox returns as GM[edit]

With Tanner's hiring, Braves' owner Ted Turner had employed four different managers in the period of 13 months. But Turner made a more momentous change in his executive offices on October 22, 1985, when he replaced general manager John Mullen, on the job since Bill Lucas' sudden death in May 1979, with former Atlanta field manager Bobby Cox, who had just piloted the Toronto Blue Jays to the 1985 American League East Division pennant. As general manager, Cox began a long rebuilding process that would last five seasons, and see Cox draft, develop or acquire players like Tom Glavine, John Smoltz, Chipper Jones, David Justice and Steve Avery. But the continued struggles of the Braves on the field would result in Cox' return to uniform as Atlanta's field manager on June 23, 1990. Although the Braves continued their losing ways, going only 40–57 (.412) under Cox in 1990, they were poised to break into sustained contention in 1991, with 14 division titles in 15 seasons, five National League championships and the 1995 World Series title. Cox would enter the Baseball Hall of Fame on the strength of his successful managerial career, which ended with his 2010 retirement.

Player stats[edit]

Batting[edit]

Starters by position[edit]

Note: Pos = Position; G = Games played; AB = At Bats; H = Hits; Avg. = Batting Average; HR = Home Runs; RBI = Runs Batted In

Pos Player G AB H Avg. HR RBI
C Cerone, RickRick Cerone 96 282 61 .216 3 25
1B Horner, BobBob Horner 130 483 129 .267 27 89
2B Hubbard, GlennGlenn Hubbard 142 439 102 .232 5 39
3B Oberkfell, KenKen Oberkfell 134 412 112 .272 3 35
SS Ramírez, RafaelRafael Ramírez 138 568 141 .248 5 58
LF Harper, TerryTerry Harper 138 492 130 .264 17 72
CF Murphy, DaleDale Murphy 162 616 185 .300 37 111
RF Washington, ClaudellClaudell Washington 122 398 110 .276 15 43

Other batters[edit]

Note: G = Games played; AB = At Bats; H = Hits; Avg. = Batting Average; HR = Home Runs; RBI = Runs Batted In

Player G AB H Avg. HR RBI
Runge, PaulPaul Runge 50 87 19 .218 1 5
Owen, LarryLarry Owen 26 71 17 .239 2 12
Rabb, JohnJohn Rabb 3 2 0 .000 0 0

Pitching[edit]

Starting pitchers[edit]

Player G IP W L ERA SO

Other pitchers[edit]

Player G IP W L ERA SO

Relief pitchers[edit]

Player G W L SV ERA SO
Sutter, BruceBruce Sutter 58 7 7 23 4.48 52

Awards and honors[edit]

  • Steve Bedrosian, Major League record, Most Starts in a Season without completing a game (37)[7]

Farm system[edit]

Level Team League Manager
AAA Richmond Braves International League Roy Majtyka
AA Greenville Braves Southern League Jim Beauchamp
A Durham Bulls Carolina League Harry Bright
A Sumter Braves South Atlantic League Buddy Bailey
Rookie Pulaski Braves Appalachian League Craig Robinson
Rookie GCL Braves Gulf Coast League Pedro González

References[edit]

  1. ^ Rick Cerone page at Baseball Reference
  2. ^ Bruce Sutter page at Baseball Reference
  3. ^ The Associated Press, October 1, 1984
  4. ^ The Los Angeles Times, August 27, 1985
  5. ^ John Rabb page at Baseball Reference
  6. ^ Al Martin page at Baseball Reference
  7. ^ Great Baseball Feats, Facts and Figures, 2008 Edition, p.107, David Nemec and Scott Flatow, A Signet Book, Penguin Group, New York, NY, ISBN 978-0-451-22363-0