The ugly, the very good and the fair - so far:
On June 20th, after defeating the Royals at home in game number 70, our record stood at 42-28. We had won 5 in a row and put together a superb 29-10 run. We were in 1st place, 2.5 up on the Mets and 5.5 up on the Phillies, who had scuffled along at 16-21 during the same time period.
Over the next 33 games, which brings us up today, we have been only 1 game over .500, 17-16. Between June 21 - July 10, we lost 3 in a row and then won 4 in row, going a decent 10-7 overall; but have recently somewhat hit the skids, losing 9 of our last 16.
And, most unfortunately of all, since July 21, the Phillies have won 8 of their last 10 and sliced our lead in half, from 7.0 to 3.5 games. This was after they had posted an extremely lackluster 29-35 record over their previous 64 games.
So, notwithstanding the old maxim "That's why they play the games," my question is what do we think is going to happen next?
Today is game number 104. Our record is 59-44. We have 59 games remaining on the schedule - which means slightly more than a third of the season is still to be played.
The Phillies are 56-48. They started pretty strong, then had a lengthy stretch of mediocrity and may now be getting on a roll and putting some real pressure on us.
Personally, my feeling is the Braves will quickly get back to their winning ways, and will play consistently enough the rest of the way to hold off the Phillies and win the NL East.
On the other hand, looking at our down and up and sideways season to date, I must admit that the level of my confidence and optimism is not nearly where I would want it to be.
As a matter of fact, I'm pretty worried, stressed out and anxiety-ridden about what exactly is going to happen next. Obviously, the Phillies are a damn solid team and are unlikely to go down down without a big fight.
And you? How do you feel about our chances at this point in the season? What additional moves do you realistically believe or hope may happen in the next few weeks to make a difference?
And, of course, all bold predictions are welcomed.