I’m not quite sure how, and maybe you’re not quite sure how, and I think there’s a possibility that even they’re not sure how: But the Braves aren’t dead again.
Now, there’s no telling how long this resuscitation will last. I seem to recall a stirring three-game sweep of the Philadelphia Phillies in early July that was followed by losing two out of three games to the Washington Nationals, a team that had lost eight of its previous 10 and entered the series with a record of 23-54. And can you figure out where I’m going with this?
The Braves are coming off three straight wins over the Los Angeles Dodgers, who have the best record in the National League. They open a homestand tonight with two games against the Nationals, who have the worst record in the majors. Take cover.
I dunno. Maybe the fact that Washington is actually hot — on an eight-game winning streak — will work to the Braves’ advantage. When the Nationals are just their usual sewage-like selves, the Braves fall to pieces. They’ve lost four of six to Washington since sweeping a three-game series early this season. Think about that when you’re looking at the win differential in the National League East and wild-card standings.
Here’s something else to digest. The Braves went 15-4 against the Montreal Expos in 2004. But here are the series numbers since the franchise relocated to Washington in 2005.
Every team has its nemesis. The Nationals might be more of a nuisance than a nemesis.
But if the Braves are serious about making some miracle playoff run, this can’t happen. The only thing worse than falling short would be falling short because they couldn’t dominate a bad team. They have nine games left with Washington. It says here they need to win six, maybe seven, of those. Otherwise, they will be dead again.