If the Braves blow it and miss the postseason in Bobby Cox’s last season they can thank the Washington Nationals. The Nats beat the Braves 4-2 Wednesday at Turner Field and took two of three in the series. It is just the second time this season the Braves have lost a home series.
For whatever reason Atlanta can’t seem to beat cruddy N.L. East teams. It is really strange how much trouble teams like the Nationals and Marlins have given the Braves this season.
There is still plenty of time, but things are starting to get dicey. The Phillies won five of six on its road trip to open a three game lead over the Braves in the N.L. East standings. The Braves still have six games left against the two time defending N.L. champs, including a potentially epic three game series at Turner Field to end the season.
That is the good news. The bad news is the Braves also still have to play the Mets, Marlins and those dreaded Washington Nationals again too. By my estimation, in order to win the division Atlanta has to win at least seven out of the nine games against the East scrubs and take four out of the six against the Phillies.
That means the Brave will have to win at least 11 of their final 15 games. Nine of those 15 games are going to be on the road. Obviously this is not going to be an easy task.
Let’s take a look at the Wild Card race. As of Thursday afternoon the Braves have a half game lead over the Giants for the final postseason spot. Chances are the Giants will be even with Atlanta by the same time Friday. San Francisco is at home tonight against the lowly Dodgers. The Rockies are just two and half games back. The Rox are playing great baseball, but I think the Giants are the team Braves fans should fear. After L.A. they have two winnable series’ against the Brewers and the Cubs. The good news for Braves fans is the Giants and Rockies will play next weekend and one will probably eliminate the other from the playoff hunt.
The Braves still control their own destiny, which is all you can ask for in mid-September. The only thing standing between the Braves and the postseason are a few cruddy N.L. East teams, which is what worries me.