Three hundred sixty-three days after they last took the field with a chance to make the playoffs, the Braves are here again. The night of Sept. 28, 2011, went badly: They lost 4-3 to Philadelphia in 13 innings while the Cardinals were winning 8-0 in Houston, and the Braves went nowhere but home.
There’s reason to believe tonight will yield a better return. Kris Medlen is pitching, and the Braves haven’t lost a game he has started since May 23, 2010. The opponent is Miami, which quit on the season long ago and is apparently trying to decide who to fire when. But this is baseball, and as the famous philosopher/pitcher Joaquin Andujar once noted: “There is one word in America that says it all, and that word is ‘you never know.’ ”
The magic number for clinching a wild card is down to 1, so even if the Braves lose the deed would be done should both the Brewers and Dodgers lose. (The former is playing in Cincinnati, the latter in San Diego.) But the Braves would like to be able to have their champagne party — that’s correct; even the wild card is occasion to break out the bubbly — without having to wait around until 1 a.m.
Whatever happens, I’d appreciate your company as the night unfolds. And I’d also ask a favor: In between innings, click over and watch my little video chat with Noah Coslov of CineSport. It concerns the Braves, oddly enough, and we do like it when y’all watch our videos.
As ever, I thank you in advance.