This Atlanta’s New Ballpark Has Pitchers Sweating

The Launching Pad has been reborn, much to the dismay of R. A. Dickey and other Atlanta Braves pitchers.

The Braves’ most recent homestand provided more evidence that the new SunTrust Park is a great place to play — if you are a hitter.

“It’s a fact that the ball seems to be carrying here so far,” Dickey said.

The season is still young, but the ball seems to be carrying especially well for the Braves’ opponents.

Entering Monday, Atlanta’s 5.61 E.R.A. in home games is easily the worst in the majors. Colorado’s Coors Field has been known as the toughest park for pitchers, but Rockies pitchers are a distant second at 5.31.

Dickey said he felt it was safe to conclude that the new park will yield a lot of homers, including some “that might seem like cheapos.”

The barrage of long balls is no surprise to the former Braves third baseman Chipper Jones, who walked into the new park and immediately joked that he retired too early.

Jones said he felt the whoosh of air in his face when he first walked onto the field through a door in the center field wall. He knew in an instant that would be bad news for pitchers.

“There weren’t too many cheap homers at Turner Field,” Jones said last month. “This place, I don’t think you’re going to have to necessarily crush one to get it out of here.”

The Braves were outscored by 51-26 and outhomered by 12-4 in their 1-5 homestand. Atlanta pitchers have given up 21 homers at home, putting them on pace for 130. The most Braves pitchers allowed at Turner Field was 95.

Dickey, 42, signed with Atlanta following four seasons with Toronto, where the Rogers Centre was a home-run friendly park.

“So you certainly go from a place like that to here and you think it’s not going to be so bad, right?” Dickey said. “It’s still a small sample size so we’re not in a panic yet, but at the same time it’s similar, for sure.”

Including all games through Sunday, the Braves’ 4.82 E.R.A. ranks 29th in the majors, just ahead of Detroit’s 4.83.

Atlanta added the veterans Dickey, Bartolo Colon and Jaime Garcia as a short-term fix to allow prospects time to develop. Manager Brian Snitker said the early struggles would not force the team to rush the prospects to Atlanta.

“I think we can be real patient,” he said. “We’re running through a little stretch here, that’s all.”

He added: “They’ll bounce back. They’ll make some adjustments and they’ll be O.K. They always have. All those guys we’re talking about wouldn’t have been playing as long as they have if they hadn’t been able to do that.”

On the other hand, those veterans never had to pitch at SunTrust Park before this year.