The Braves troubles with the Nationals continued Sunday with a 4-2 loss in the rubber game of that series in D.C. Atlanta has now lost to the Nat’s an astonishing four out of six times this month. The Braves have lost six of their past ten overall.
The recent swoon has dropped the Braves a half game behind the Padres for the N.L. Wild Card. The Padres and Giants are in a heck of a battle for the N.L. West title. Right now San Francisco has a half game advantage over San Diego. The Braves, Padres and Giants have been three of the better teams in baseball for a big chunk of the season, but one of those three teams will not be in the postseason.
Atlanta is at home the rest of the way. The Braves have won or tied every home series this season with the exception of two. Tonight they open a series with the Florida Marlins, a team that is essentially just playing out the string at this point. Then again, the Nationals haven’t had much to play for in a while and they found a way to take two series’ from the Braves in the past couple of weeks.
The Braves close out the regular season against one of the hottest teams in baseball, the Philadelphia Phillies. The Phillies will probably have clinched the division by the time they roll into Atlanta. They will still be playing for the best record in the National League and also would certainly enjoy knocking their N.L. East rival out of the postseason, so motivation won’t be a factor in that series.
As for the other team’s the Braves are chasing, the Padres are at home against the Cubs tonight. The Giants are off tonight and will open a series with the last place Diamond backs tomorrow night. The Phillies play the Nationals tonight.
This weekend, the Padres and Giants close out the season with a head to head matchup in San Francisco.
Needless to say, this will be an entertaining week of baseball. If someone offered you the chance to be within a half game of the postseason with six games left in the season, you would be crazy not to accept. The Braves have put themselves in position to make the playoffs, now they just have to find a way to close the deal.