Remember the miserable Braves loss index we had, where the Braves would find creative ways to lose all the time and you could never guess which type of game it would be until toward the end of the game? I kind of miss those days. We’ve seen essentially the same game of baseball every day for the past three weeks, with very little variance to keep things interesting. We don’t have to wonder how this team will lose—we can correctly guess before the first pitch is thrown. Considering this team was above .500 until last week, it’s rather amazing that they could—and truly might—end up 10+ games under. Talk about a free fall.
Today, the Mets completed their first sweep of the Braves at Turner Field since 2007, proving that these are dark days indeed. Couple that feat with a Pirates victory, and your 2014 Atlanta Braves have officially been eliminated from postseason contention.
Elimination has been a foregone conclusion for awhile now, but what is incredible is that this Braves team, which spent a good portion of the season in the top spot of the NL East, may very well spend the last series of the year against the Phillies fighting for (or against) last place in the division. Wouldn’t that be something if the Braves ended up behind the Mets, Marlins, AND Phillies in the standings?
Really not much to report about the game itself. You’ve heard it all before. Ervin Santana got the start, and gave up single runs in the 1st and 2nd and three in the 4th. Juan Jaime relieved him in the 6th and had to be bailed out by Luis Avilan, who got out of the inning with only one run allowed. Pickles Schlosser finished the game, giving up runs in the 8th and 9th. The Mets made up for the lack of variety that has characterized Braves baseball in September, scoring their runs on base hits, a sac fly, a passed ball, a home run, a sac bunt and catcher error combo, an errant pickoff throw…you just could not tell what would happen next.
The Braves offense, meanwhile, scored 2 runs or less for the 60th time this season, which is just brutal. The first four Braves struck out swinging today, and Jacob deGrom had seven strikeouts his first time through the Braves lineup. Justin Upton broke up deGrom’s perfect game with a leadoff double in the 5th, and the Braves actually plated two runs that inning on two runs, two walks, and an error.
The most interesting thing to happen today occurred in the second inning, when Mark Bowman released an article speculating Fredi will be given one more year to right the ship, but that Frank Wren may be fired as early as the next day or two. I think the writing on the wall for Wren has grown quite visible indeed. Further speculation in that article was the possibility of Dayton Moore replacing Wren, which would mean the last several years I’ve spent being thankful that the Braves let Moore walk and kept Wren will all ultimately come to naught. Maybe the Royals will win the World Series this year and Kansas City will throw all sorts of money at Moore and spare us all that worry.
This season will mercifully end a week from today. What remains to be seen is what the team will look like when they next play the Mets on Opening Day 2015. We shall see.