Opponents used to come here shouldering the burden of proof. To reach the World Series, National League teams would say, you had to go through Atlanta.
The Mets would say it, and the Phillies and the Marlins. “And even the teams not in our division — the Astros and the Dodgers,” Chipper Jones said. “They knew they had to go through us to get to the World Series.”
Said Brian McCann: “For 14 years, that’s the way it was. But for the last three years, the Phillies have been the best team … They’re the team in the National League.”
The Braves haven’t graced a playoff game since Chris Burke hoisted Joey Devine’s pitch in the 18th inning into the Crawford boxes at Minute Maid Park in Houston. The date was Oct. 9, 2005. The Phillies have won the NL East three years running and have reached the World Series the past two, winning it all in 2008. They have become what the Braves, over those 14