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.