Somebody Up There must really like the Atlanta Braves

The Braves are 10-14 in September. They’ve won one of the past seven series. They’ve gone from three games ahead of Philadelphia on Sept. 1 to six games back with six to play. And you know what?

They still should win the wild card.

They start the week a half-game behind San Diego, which is a half-game behind San Francisco in the National League West. The Braves play the Marlins these next three days. The Padres have four against the Cubs. The Giants have three against Arizona. But here’s the catch:

The Padres and Giants finish against one other. One of them has to lose each of the season’s final three days. The Braves end against the Phils, who have already clinched a playoff berth and a tie for the East title. That quirk of scheduling should be enough to get the Braves into the postseason. Provided the Braves remember what it is to win a series, which is, as we know, not exactly a certainty.

The Braves have lost three series to last-place clubs in three weeks. Of their 10 victories in September, four have been posted by Derek Lowe. Their rotation is coming unglued. Their batting order fell to pieces a while back. The wonder isn’t that this team is losing but that it still holds the chance to win something. The Braves are most fortunate.

423 comments Add your comment

GTHorsie

September 27th, 2010
9:04 am

Why do you continue to jinx my Braves this way??? STOP WRITING ABOUT THEM.

ss

September 27th, 2010
9:07 am

If this team makes the post season, they will get swept in the NLDS. Great pitching, and NO hitting. Cant just flip the switch and suddenly hit. This team over acheived with margainal talent. Maybe if this team played with some urgency late in the year they may have been in a better situation

Mark Bradley

September 27th, 2010
9:10 am

I don’t think urgency is the problem. I think talent is.

82Dawg

September 27th, 2010
9:12 am

Which is worst way to send Bobby out, not make the payoff’s or get swept in the fist round?

ss

September 27th, 2010
9:21 am

Mark,

I agree, but couldnt cox try and fire up his troops in a way to basically say lets go and start playing like they want to get into the post season?

Mark Bradley

September 27th, 2010
9:23 am

I believe the manager addressed the team before the third game in Philadelphia, ss.

Grumpy

September 27th, 2010
9:24 am

4-2 should get them in. If you can’t do that, you deserve to sit home.

Pigeon

September 27th, 2010
9:26 am

I don’t think they’ll win squat.

RaleighDawg

September 27th, 2010
9:26 am

Before the Nats series I said the Braves would finish the final nine with a 3-6 record and they are right on schedule after the weekend.

jbrady

September 27th, 2010
9:27 am

Mark, I hate to play this game but…. do you see the Braves as a better team next season if they can get a CF or add someone?

Don

September 27th, 2010
9:28 am

You’re still a delusional idiot. Once again, the braves STRUGGLE against the NATS, MARLINS and PHILLIES. Even when they have nothing to play for, they STILL struggle.
This team is NOT going to make the playoffs. But you still write this garbage. You by far are the worst sports writer on the planet.

RaleighDawg

September 27th, 2010
9:28 am

After seeing so many games (including yesterday’s) in which the Braves did so poorly with RISP (1-9 in Sunday’s game), does anyone know what is considered a good stat for at team’s RISP ?

bruce mac

September 27th, 2010
9:29 am

You just can’t help yourself I guess. Keep up the jinx Mark.

stuart

September 27th, 2010
9:30 am

Mark Bradley

September 27th, 2010
9:30 am

I think the Braves should be good next year, jbrady. And a center fielder would help. They’ve essentially gone without one in 2010.

Chris

September 27th, 2010
9:31 am

My question is where is the Booby cox who would do anything to scratch across some runs int he middle part of the summer? Where’s the guy who would bunt, steal, and squeeze to score runs? It seems like Bobby has gone back to waiting for the 3-run homer like summers past. The Braves are not built for that kind of baseball. They can however play like the 2002 Angels (who won the world series btw) and do the little things to win. I think our pitching staff’s struggles recently have come from the fact they are pressing to not give up anything because they don’t know if they can trust the offense to score. It sounds cliche but start doing the little things and the wins will come again.

Must sweep Florida

September 27th, 2010
9:32 am

It’s that simple. Don’t do it and they are toast unless they can sweep Phillie. Gotta go 5-1 this week. I don’t think 4-2 will get it done.

dobearsbare

September 27th, 2010
9:33 am

I guess there will be a one-game playoff if they finish tied?

ss

September 27th, 2010
9:33 am

Thanks Mark!

beauvighn

September 27th, 2010
9:33 am

What good would it do to get into postseason only to get swept and embarrassed by Cinncy…..Finsih these 6 games say good by and good ridance to Cox and for gosh sakes hire Freddy Gonzalez…..These guys are toast

Don

September 27th, 2010
9:35 am

The only reason they are even in the discussion, which they shouldn’t be if you’ve watched the team for any time, is the padres 10 game losing steak earlier. But MB can’t even recognize this.
SF and SD won a series against MUCH better comp than the braves played. The braves of course Lost a series against last place Wash. SF won in Colorado where MB says it’s tough to win!
The braves will lose 2/3 to Fla and 2/3 to Philly even with these teams having NOTHING to play for. Everything I have written has come to fruition. Everything Bradley has written has been wrong.
Amazing this fool has a job doing this. He must be doing something we don’t know about.

Peter

September 27th, 2010
9:35 am

Hey Mark……..wasn’t Blanco a center fielder ? Those Wern deals sure messed up the chemistry……

Please tell us the Braves record since all the trades were made.

dobearsbare

September 27th, 2010
9:36 am

If Atlanta goes 4-2, San Diego 4-3 and San Francisco 3-3, a tie could happen. So, do I understand correctly that head-to-head records determine home field for that one-game playoff? Because the Braves won both of those regular-season series.

GermanBravesFan

September 27th, 2010
9:36 am

It is easy to see that one would say the Braves do not deserve the Wild Card due to their horrible play in September. On the other hand, pretty much everybody on this blog (and on DOB’s) should be Braves fans. REAL fans support their team no matter what! Hey, as long as there is a chance to make it, I say GO BRAVES – instead of bi***ing and moaning.

Sonny Clusters

September 27th, 2010
9:37 am

We was reminded about what Stinky Wintes said one time when Bobby was still batting Jeff high in the order, “Don’t call a monkey with a wrench, call a monkey with a lineup card.” Now, that’s a bit harsh but where is the urgency to do something about all the losing? Who gets mad when they lose? Remember Grandpas Jordan and Raul Mondesi? This season it’s McLouth and Ankiel . . . and Melky.

bruce mac

September 27th, 2010
9:37 am

Chris, you obviously have not been watching this team. They do not know how to do the little things to win They either come from behind to win late after numerous bad plays or they have a great pitching performance that overcomes their bad plays. They have not played a game in a long long time without making numerous mental errors. What catcher in his right mind is calling for breaking pitches with two out and bases empty in a tie game and a pitcher with a 98 mile an hour fast ball on the hill? Friggin unbelievable.

Hey "Brad" as Bobby calls ya

September 27th, 2010
9:38 am

Please ask Cox next time you talk to him why he isn’t moving Prado back to leadoff and shuttling Infante down to 6 or 7. It’s all about what got you there Brad. Thanks dude

lanier

September 27th, 2010
9:38 am

They will be lucky to go 3-3 to finish with no chance but who cares it’s football season

gcs

September 27th, 2010
9:38 am

ain’t gonna happen.

.

TN Jeff

September 27th, 2010
9:39 am

I agree Don – someone up there must really like MB

bruce mac

September 27th, 2010
9:39 am

Prado isn’t leading off because he cannot run. He is less of a liability battting third with a bad wheel than he is in the lead off position where he would clog things up even more. He also has a little more pop than Infante.

Sonny Clusters

September 27th, 2010
9:40 am

And Glaus and Lee and that Norton fella. Wait! Norton’s gone, right?

Ted M

September 27th, 2010
9:41 am

Mark – It seems you’ve found a new friend in Don. Ha

Hey "Brad" as Bobby calls ya

September 27th, 2010
9:41 am

Look at the stats from the first half when he was hitting leadoff. Bad wheel or not, they scored with him in that slot.

Holy Man

September 27th, 2010
9:42 am

I’m crying real tears for my Braves…..but I think it is best that we are not in the playoffs, all our karma has run out!

Gary O

September 27th, 2010
9:44 am

Mark,

The Braves also went without a left fielder this year too. And they went without a first baseman for 3 months.

I agree that the Braves are not very talented. But I dont think Bobby has been able to push the right buttons either.

Anthony

September 27th, 2010
9:44 am

Braves will face Joe Blanton, Kyle Kendrick, and Vance Worley for the final 3 games of the year as well as a AAA-Lehigh Valley IronPigs lineup. That’s 3 automatic wins for the Braves right there

skip

September 27th, 2010
9:45 am

Playoffs? I’ll believe it when see it. The way the Braves are playing right now they’ll be lucky to win 3 of the next 6. They can’t hit, the pitching has gone down the tubes and the defense is not so hot either.

Russell Bell

September 27th, 2010
9:46 am

Braves probably need to win the last 6 games of the season (maybe 5 will do it) to get to the post-season.

Regardless of whether Philly rests some regulars – those last 3 are going to be tough games. Throw in Lowe and Hudson perhaps on short rest… the playoff picture looks bleak.

mikeDW

September 27th, 2010
9:46 am

I really enjoyed the roller coaster ride that was this season. But now, we are on the straightaway that takes you back inside the station; the fun part of the ride is over, and we will slowly, boringly cruise to the end.
We peaked 2 months ago, and show no inkling of re-igniting. The magic was great while it lasted.

Well, time to go update my football fantasy team, because I got spanked yesterday, too.

Thomas Bebe Emerman

September 27th, 2010
9:47 am

Sometimes things work out for the best. Former AirTran spokesman Mike Vick is set in Philly and AirTran is about to become Southwest. As hard as it was for Mike to say, “AihTwan” there is no way he could ever say, “Soufwef”. Try it. By the way, Mike looked good against the Jags. He can buy his own airline soon.

jfreak13713

September 27th, 2010
9:50 am

I can’t see the Braves getting two our of three from the Marlins or the Phillies. They just can’t hit and now most nights unless Lowe is pitching they can’t get enough guys out to keep the game close enough. I can’t really see anything that Cox is doing or is not doing that is causing this slide. He doesn’t let guys steal because they are all TOO slow and nobody on the team seems to be able to bunt or move runners over. It really is a talent issue at this point.

If the Padres and Giants beat each other up and the Braves lose 2 of 3 the next two series could the Rockies slide into the Wild Card lead??? At this point I’d rather see a good Rockies team playing well than I would an avergae Braves team playing poorly make the playoffs.

Sorry Braves but you’ve done the best you could, but your best just won’t be enough this year. However, a WINNER is built not always bought and you guys are good enough to expect to win assuming Wren will add a player or two this offseason? Thanks for the season it was enjoyable to watch you guys fight and scratch your way to a pretty good season!

Cox, well my mother always said if you don’t have something nice to say you’re better off saying nothing …….

dobearsbare

September 27th, 2010
9:53 am

Russell, if the Braves win 5 of 6, they’re in, because either San Diego or San Francisco is going to lose at least two in the final week. Even against the Cubs and the Diamondbacks, the odds against them both sweeping are pretty steep. But the Braves have to do their part; the odds against them winning 5 of 6 are pretty steep too.

I can’t help but think back to that 10-1 lead in Colorado …

Great Moments in Stupidity from the AJC

September 27th, 2010
9:55 am

“There is NO WAY the Braves are giving up this NL East Division lead.”

- Mark Bradley, August 2010

Herschel Talker

September 27th, 2010
9:55 am

MB:

“I don’t think urgency is the problem. I think talent is.”

Then how did you say last week that “thee two best teams in the NL are meeting in Philly.” How is it that you keep talking out of both sides of your mouth? Are they one of the most talented, or do they not have talent? Then you say that they can’t hit and can’t field. Well then what the heck makes them a good team. Good teams don’t lose 2 straight series to the Nats with everything riding on it. Quit trying to sell papers and start keeping it real.

The math here doesn’t work. If the Braves take 2 of 3 from the Marlins and the Padres take 3 of 4 from the Cubs, then the Braves will enter the final weekend 1 game behind. The Phillies will put the final dagger in their hearts.

Let’s cut through the BS.

HT

Jeff

September 27th, 2010
9:55 am

Why would we want the Braves to make the playoffs? So they can get swept on the road in the first series?

MJ

September 27th, 2010
9:56 am

Its flat out this simple: when you cannot score runs, you are not going to win. Scoring 4 runs TOTAL against the Phillies and 3 runs in both loses to the Nationals is not going to get it done. The Braves have scored 9 runs in the last 6 games propmptly losing 5 of those 6 and only once did they score over 3 runs. It does not take a genius to figure out that averaging 1.5 runs a game is not going to win to many baseball games. Typical Braves, they cannot hit to save their life.

10-1 lead after 3

September 27th, 2010
9:57 am

Last week it was: The Braves should win because they play 3 games against the woeful Nationals. How did that work out? The Braves are not going to win for a number of reasons. One of which is they have one of history’s worst tactical managers. A second reason is that teams that have a 10 to 1 lead after 3 innings and end up losing the game do not have what it takes to make the playoffs.
Since it’s apparent that the Braves are not going to fire Mr. Cox today, there is no hope.

Mark Bradley

September 27th, 2010
9:58 am

On the record, Herschel, the Braves and Phillies were the two best teams in the National League as of last Monday, which is when I wrote those words.

what of it?

September 27th, 2010
9:59 am

They’ve gone without a centerfielder since A. Jones left. The drop off has everything to do with a lack of good managing. the talent is good. All 4 of the all-stars are still playing, and hudson’s still pitching. They have a very talented rotation. Starting Melky and Ankiel is suicide they are .217 and .156 for september (I acknowledge the contribution yesterday but we still lost). Also, of all the things you can fix as a manager, fielding is probably the easiest, of the teams in contention braves are dead last in just about all categories. It doesn’t help hitting to trot a different lineup every day.