Originally posted on Fox Sports South  |  Last updated 7/2/12
A lot of folks dread Mondays, but perhaps none more than the Braves. They've played 11 games on Monday this year. They've lost all 11. That's right. Count them. E-L-E-V-E-N. Three or four might be a fluke. Seven or eight might be a trend. But 11? That's worse than a Monday Malaise. Call it a Monday Malfunction. It's become a curse. No. 11 became official when Cubs center fielder Tony Campana squeezed the last out in a 4-1 victory over the Braves at Turner Field, extending their Monday Misery one more week. The Braves have been equal opportunity losers on Mondays. They've lost to good teams (the Dodgers, the Reds, the Cardinals and the Yankees). They've lost to terrible teams (the Astros and the Cubs twice). They've been blown out (8-3, 9-3, 8-2) and they've lost tight games (3-1, 3-0). They've been one Monday worse at home (0-6) than they have been on the road (0-5). Their 4-1 loss at Cincinnati on May 21 kicked off a season-worst eight-game losing streak. They've scored a total of 17 runs on those 11 Mondays. Only June brought some respite, and that's because the Braves thanks to scheduled off days -- didn't play on the Mondays that so graciously fell on June 4 or June 25. June came and went, but the Braves went right back to their losing ways on the second day of July. What are they doing, preparing for Monday games by listening to the Mamas and the Papas on their iPads? Remember, they sang, "But whenever Monday comes, but whenever Monday comes, You can find me cryin' all of the time. Or maybe they mellow out to Karen Carpenter's "Rainy Days and Mondays in their clubhouse before the games. They always get the Braves down, too. It was more of the same on this Monday, thanks to Jeff Samardzija and the Cubs. It didn't matter that Samardzija was 0-4 with a 10.41 ERA in June. And it didn't matter that the Cubs were facing the Braves' Tommy Hanson, who was 4-0 with a 3.13 ERA in June. June is over. And this game was on a Monday. Have you caught on by now? The Braves don't win on Mondays. Samardzija had one more strikeout than he has letters in his last name (11 to 10), setting a career high, and held the Braves to four hits and a walk in seven innings. It was a near repeat of his victory over the Braves on May 7, when he struck out seven Braves and gave up five hits and two runs in a 5-1 victory. Oh, by the way, that game was on a Monday. May 7, to be exact. "I said earlier, this team at times plays brilliantly, Chipper Jones said Monday. "We play great. And then other times, we more resemble the Bad News Bears. And that doesn't cut it up here. The Braves' Monday Blues actually didn't start this season. They extend to the end of 2011. They dropped all four of their Monday games during their September swoon, losing twice to the Phillies and twice to the Marlins, making the streak at 15 Mondays and counting. The Braves didn't play on Aug. 29, 2011, meaning their last win on a Monday came on Aug. 22, when they defeated the Cubs 3-0. This loss was the Braves' last Monday game before the All-Star Break. Maybe they can exorcise their Monday Misery during their four days of R&R. The schedule even gives them a break after the break. They're off on July 16, the first Monday back, meaning they won't be able to break their winless Monday streak until they play at Miami on July 23. The Baltimore Orioles were the last club to lose this many consecutive Monday games, dropping 20 straight in a streak that spanned the 2009 and 2010 seasons. Ten more Mondays await the Braves in 2012. Is there a Magical Monday in there somewhere? Only time will tell.
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