Clinch or not, Braves still shooting for Nationals

Whether or not they clinched a berth in the wild card playoff game Tuesday night, the Braves and manager Fredi Gonzalez are still shooting for the Nationals and a division title.

The prospects are slim, as the Braves trailed them by five games in NL East with nine to play entering Tuesday night. But the Braves know there are benefits to keeping it close.

“It’s going to be difficult catching Washington because we don’t play them anymore,” Gonzalez said. “But at the very least let’s keep an eye on them and make it interesting. If we can get some wins here and make it two or three games closer, it’ll be interesting at the very least.”

The Braves would like to force the Nationals to keep playing their regulars, while building some momentum of their own toward the playoffs. They’d love to avoid the one-game wild card playoff, but if that’s their fate, the Braves want homefield advantage in the wild card playoff. Their magic number to clinch that over the St. Louis Cardinals entering Tuesday night was four.

The Braves have started planning for what their roster would look like for a potential wild card playoff game. They’ve already announced they lined up Kris Medlen to start that game. On Tuesday, Gonzalez said he is planning to carrying three starters on the roster for that game, with two backup starters in case of an illness or emergency.

The Braves are still debating the rest of the roster makeup but are considering carrying seven relievers and 15 position players.

“Do you bring a third catcher because you might have to pinch run for (Brian) McCann late?” Gonzalez said. “We may change it and say let’s carry an extra pitcher because we don’t really pinch hit for any of the position players, and we don’t defend for any of our position players. If we got the starting eight, they finish the game, really.”

War of words

Gonzalez didn’t have much to say Tuesday when asked about the comments Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria made about him, calling Gonzalez “classless” for his comments Sunday to the Miami Herald and calling his tenure as the Marlins manager a “colossal failure.”

“No, not that big a deal,” said Gonzalez, when asked if he was surprised by Loria’s comments.

The Miami Herald had quoted Gonzalez as saying: “There’s not a manager dead or alive that Jeffrey thinks is good enough. Not Connie Mack, not anyone.” Gonzalez stood by his quote on Tuesday.

“That’s what I said,” Gonzalez said. “I said it when the guy asked me a question. He’s the owner of the team, a tough guy to please and no matter who is managing his team there’s going to be a certain time when he doesn’t think that’s good enough, and that’s his prerogative.”

22 comments Add your comment


September 25th, 2012
7:07 pm


September 25th, 2012
8:01 pm

Finish the Drill Bravos! Enough of postseason disappointments!!


September 25th, 2012
10:05 pm

I’m hoping that the hot weather in Texas keeps the hunting fever low for Chipper until after the playoffs. I would love nothing more than to send him out with a game 7 win in Arlington. He won’t have far to travel to his ranch and we will never have to experience another deer season collapse by Chipper again.


September 25th, 2012
10:31 pm

Freddie is the man! WOO!


September 25th, 2012
10:34 pm

Freddie is the man! WOO! Nice win tonight, although Med was a little bit more over the plate than normal, he made only two bad pitches, he’s human, rather get it out of his system now than in the playoffs.

He still looked quite beastly overall.

Chipper was clutch, Heyward had a nice triple, Freddie with a SHOT! Congrats to all the Braves on clinching. But there is still business to be taken care of! Celebrate tonight and enjoy it, but let’s catch those Nats and make some noise in October!


Frank Shab in PA

September 26th, 2012
12:09 am

n Bravos lets catch the Nats! Its not too late!

Brave Decisions

September 26th, 2012
12:13 am

Braves can still catch Nationals, favorable remaining schedule.


September 26th, 2012
12:21 am

The Nats are well out of reach.

We will sorely miss Medlen only getting to pitch once again in the Championship series if he wins the wild card game. Pray for rain-outs to give him a second Championship outing, or on the off chance the Braves can find some big offense against St. Louis early in the game to take him out with less than 50 pitches.

Sorry to say, Hanson is a very scary prospect.


September 26th, 2012
12:35 am

The way the Braves started the season,never thought would make playoffs.Less errors & less excuses.Less errors allows less excuses.Go Braves.


September 26th, 2012
3:50 am

Sorry, Ralphie… you’re not qualified to enjoy this, and certainly not qualified to call yourself a part of the team by using “we” when you refer to the Bravos… You and your armchair whining brethren have been disparaging this team from DAY ONE, and have kept up a steady flow of INSULTS all.season.long… You need to crawl back in the hole you dug for yourself back in April… ALL SEASON LONG!!! Sayonara, Jerkman… “We” won’t miss you one stinking bit….


September 26th, 2012
5:09 am

Re: Ralph

Let’s focus on first things first. Medlen will be able to pitch again in the LDS I believe in Game 3.



September 26th, 2012
10:52 am

Fredi, you’re absolutely right about Loria, but please shut it down for the rest of the post season, ok? We’ve got a good thing going here. Don’t mess it up by creating an unnecessary distraction. Thanks and, otherwise, keep up the good work. Go Braves!!!!


September 26th, 2012
11:12 am

This is really a feel good story for a change. It does help eras last year’s memories, and I’m happy for this team. Where’s Chase and some of the others here who spoke of an “epic collapse” at the beginning of this month? There’s nothing wrong with having a little faith and hope.

Reid in EAV

September 26th, 2012
12:07 pm

Re: Jeff Loria – I will point out to the fans frequently bashing Liberty Media (and I am one of them), IT COULD BE WORSE.


September 26th, 2012
12:14 pm

Nats-Phillies matchups…. Today, Kendrick (10-11, 3.89) v. Lannan (3-0, 4.43) Tomorrow, Gonzalez (20-8, 2.84 v. Clloyd (?) (2-1, 3.86). Go Phillies! Probably pitchers, Nats, v. Cards…. 9/28, Jackson (9-10, 3.77) v. Wainwright (13-13, 4.02). 9/29, Wang (2-3, 6.60) v. Lohse (16-3, 2.77). 9/30, Zimmermann (12-8, 2.90), v. Lynn (17-7, 3.69). While the Nats are playing the Phillies twice and the Cards, the Braves finish with the Marlins and then it’s the Mets and Pirates. This can be done.

JCB in Dunwoody

September 26th, 2012
12:35 pm

Regarding Jeffrey Loria, he could not win with a manager that had won a World Series (Guillen), TWO all-star caliber shortstops (Ramirez and Reyes), a premier closer (Bell), a perennial Cy Young candidate starter (Buerhle) and one of the best young sluggers in the game (Stanton) so I am not sure his opinion of Fredi carries a whole lot of heft. What Jeffrey Loria IS good at is bamboozling the Miami-area taxpayers into paying for a garish new stadium that looks like Ricky Martin’s idea of baseball heaven. I am glad we have Fredi as manager and almost as glad they have Loria running their show…as long as he is in Miami there is no fear the Atlanta Braves will ever be in last place in the NL East.


September 26th, 2012
1:18 pm

Correct me if I’m wrong, but they do hold the head-to-head tie breaker, right? So catching them really does no good. We also have to pass them. That’s 5 games.


September 26th, 2012
1:21 pm

When I say ‘they’ (of course) I mean the Nationals.


September 26th, 2012
1:34 pm

You are right.


September 26th, 2012
2:17 pm

The Nats still have 5 games against the Phillies. Remember what the Phillies did to the Braves last year! It ain’t over yet!


September 26th, 2012
2:22 pm

finish the drill, go BRAVES

October 6th, 2013
9:40 pm

Add your comment