PITTSBURGH – In the unlikely event that the Braves forced a tiebreaker with the Washington Nationals, Atlanta manager Fredi Gonzalez said Mike Minor would start in that single game Thursday in Washington to determine the division champion.
The Braves trailed the first-place Nationals by three games before Monday, meaning Atlanta needed to sweep the Pirates and Washington would have to be swept in its last three games against Philadelphia to create a tie. In that case, the winner of the Thursday game would be the division champion and advance to a best-of-five division series, while the loser would play in the Wild Card game the next day on Friday.
If the Nationals clinch the NL East before the regular season ends, Minor’s next start would likely be in a potential Game 2 of the division series that would start Sunday in Atlanta, provided the Braves won the Wild Card “play-in” game Friday.
Minor (11-10) has a 2.21 ERA and .193 opponents’ average in 15 starts since the beginning of July, after posting a 6.20 ERA and .271 opponents’ average in 15 starts through the end of June.
Kris Medlen is scheduled to star the Wild Card game for the Braves and Tim Hudson would start the first game of a division series.