Gil Elliot

04 Sept 2019

It is finally September and the Braves go into the home stretch with a slim 5 1/2 game lead over the pesky and tenacious gNats. I will be the first to admit that after the pre-season flourish of acquisitions by the Phillies, Mets and Nationals, I had picked the Braves to finish the season in 2nd place in the division behind Philadelphia. The current standings should give everyone a good understanding of why I am not very good at picking winners and losers.

As it stands, the Braves continue to hold serve over the Nationals who apparently were recharged by Max Scherzer’s “black eye” game. Since that game the Nationals have been on a tear and have refused to lose. Still, the Braves have kept the Nats at arm’s length by winning at a nice clip too. Can the Braves continue to keep the Nations playing for a wild card spot and not the division crown? September will tell the tale. The two teams have 7 head to head games in September, four in Atlanta and three in DC. The Braves also have seven games left with the fading Phillies and three in New York with the Mets to end the season.

By trailing the first place Braves by 5-1/2 games, the burden is clearly on the Nationals. The Braves are in a position to run out the clock on the season but methinks los Bravos will not be content to simply play out the string. I believe they truly want to make a statement that they are the “Beast of the East” and all play-offs once again go through Atlanta. The Nationals, in addition to seven games left with the Braves have three with the Mets and four with Philadelphia. Both of those series are at home for the Nats but they also have to face the

Twins, the Cardinals and the Indians. The Braves remaining foes include games against White Sox, the Royals and the Blue Jays.

While the games are not played on paper, the Braves do appear to have the easier path to the NL East title. As good as the Nationals are playing right now, they were horrible in April and May once again proving that while you cannot win a title at the beginning of the season, you can certainly lose one.

Billy Hamilton

Francisco Cervelli

Adeiny Hechavarria

Now a word about the addition of Adeiny Hechavarria, Francisco Cervelli and Billy Hamilton. All those bad thoughts I had about Alex Anthopoulos I here-by rescind. Three players who were discarded by their former teams were claimed of waivers by the Braves and it was as if AA was able to wave a magic wand which sparked new life into a tired team. All three have had a role in sparking victories over the Mets and the Blue Jays. The trades for three bullpen arms at the trading deadline has also borne fruit with Martin, Green and Mark Melancon all contributing to shoring up a sagging and spotty relief corps.

So as we head down the home stretch with only the Nationals in a position to challenge the good guys, I am not counting our chickens quite yet but I do like the Braves’ chances to defend the flag.

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1 Response to “#187: The Home Stretch”


  1. 1 Carolina Lady September 4, 2019 at 9:41 pm

    Thanks much, Chief! I have the feeling that the team is having so much fun that they are fueling themselves. The new people joining the team are being greatly influence by the strong “vibe” that surrounds them and can’t help but find themselves performing well in that atmosphere. Just my thoughts. (Sorry the Graphics Department is a bit off at the moment.)

    Like


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