I know sometimes baseball fans get angry when us nattering nabobs of negativism (copyright: tax cheat and lousy official scorer Spiro Agnew) suggest that their team might be hopelessly out of the race.
So I won’t do that this morning. Yes, the Braves just lost two out of three games at home to the San Diego Padres, a last-place team, at a time when they really needed to sweep somebody at home, especially a last-place team. But keep hope alive, right? Uh, where was I?
So here goes. You will get no negative verbiage from me. You get only numbers. I figure in this case, numbers tell the story.
First, here’s how it looks in the N.L. East:
Team W L Pct. GB
Philadelphia 73 52 .584 –
Atlanta 67 60 .528 7
Florida 67 60 .528 7
And here’s how it looks in the N.L. wild card picture
Team W L Pct. GB
Colorado 72 56 .563 –
San Francisco 69 59 .539 3
Atlanta 67 60 .528 4.5
Florida 67 60 .528 4.5
And here are all the bottom lines:
♦ EAST: If the Phillies continue to play at a .584 pace, they’ll go 22-15 in their last 37 games and finish 95-67. The Braves would have to go 28-7 (.800) just to tie.
♦ EAST: If the Phillies play at just above a .500 clip, 19-18, the rest of the way, they’ll finish 92-70. The Braves would have to go 25-10 (.714) to catch them.
(For the record, Philadelphia was 39-37 on July 2. It’s 34-15 since. The Phillies have been playing at a .694 clip for nearly two months.)
♦ WILD CARD: If the Rockies continue to play at a .563 pace, they’ll go 19-15 in their final 34 games and finish 91-71. The Braves would have to go 24-11(.686) to tie them.
♦ WILD CARD: If the Rockies play at a .500 clip, 17-17, the rest of the way, they’ll finish 89-73. The Braves would have to go 22-13 (.629) to catch them.
(For the record, Colorado started the season 18-28 but is 54-28 since firing manager Clint Hurdle May 28 and replacing him with Jim Tracy. The Rockies have been playing at a .659 clip for three months.)
♦ BRAVES RECAP: They were 39-43 on July 6. They are 28-17 since. That’s a .622 clip, which is less than .800, .714, .686 or .629.
OK, I’m done. Hopefully I didn’t ruin your breakfast.
What do the numbers tell you?