What a ride this has been. A Braves team that started out the season with an anemic offense, lost ten straight, built and lost a seven game division lead and couldn’t beat the Nationals when it counted, could possibly clinch a postseason berth tonight. A Braves win over the Phillies combined with a Padres loss to the Giants will give Bobby Cox one more October playoff ride.
The Braves need to add the Cubs to their Christmas card list. The Cubbies improbable success at San Diego, including Thursday night’s 1-0 win, put the Braves in the driver seat. Yeah, the Braves have to face the two time defending and 2010 N.L. East champion Phillies in Atlanta this weekend, but the Padres are on the road against the red hot, N.L. West leading Giants.
While acknowledging the risk of a jinx, I would be remiss if I didn’t remind you the Braves have only lost two series at Turner Field all season.
Philadelphia doesn’t have much, if anything to play for this weekend. They’ve already clinched a fourth straight division title and the best record in the National League. Sure, they would love to beat the Braves, but they aren’t going to gas any of their studs to do it.
San Francisco, on the other hand, does have something to play for this weekend. The Giants need to beat the Padres once to clinch the N.L. West.
The Braves will send young Brandon Beachy (0-1, 2.89 ERA) to the mound tonight. Beachy is still looking for his first Major League win, but he has been solid since replacing injured Jair Jurrjens in the rotation. Kyle Kendrick (10-10 4.76) will start for the Phillies. First pitch is 7:35.
The Giants and Padres get started at 10:15 tonight.