Atlanta currently sits at 86-65. Their competition for the playoffs (not including Philadelphia since they are likely locked and don't exclude Atlanta from making the post season) are Colorado, San Francisco, and San Diego. We all know that. Their records are, respectively, 84-66, 83-66, 82-67 (Giants, Pads, Rocks).
But that's obvious to all. What some of the "we're doomed, dooooooooooooooooommmmmmeeeeeeed!" crowd seems to be forgetting is this.
See, the chances of 2 of the 3 West teams beating us isn't very strong. They are quite focused on how to beat each other, not catch us.
There's 11 games remaining for Atlanta, (6 at home), 12 for San Fran, 13 for Whale's Vagina, and 13 for Colorado. The fewer games means we have a couple days of rest they don't get (that's one for the good guys). Also, we've got 6 games with Florida and Washington remaining. If we struggle in them, then panic might be justified. Win 4 or 5 of those 6, and our playoff hopes will be sitting in a good spot (I know we've struggled in the past with both, but both are also missing their top starter, Johnson and Strasburg, as well as other key players). Win 4 or more, and we're over 90 wins. Then we've got a home set with Phily where they may or may not be shutting it down to rest for the playoffs to end it (plus it's at home, and we're pretty good there).
But we all know what the Braves got; we're Braves fans and follow them closely and that's why we're here in the first place. But look at our competition, we are at least 2, if not 3 or 4 wins ahead of them, with not a lot of games to add wins. And in several of those games, one of the 3 can not possibly win. Getting over 90 wins is not an easy task for one, let alone two of those teams.
San Francisco has 84 wins, and to get to 90 or more means at least 6 more wins in their final 12 games. 3 at the Cubs (who've won 6 straight and 8 of 9), 3 in Denver, off day Monday followed by 3 at home with Arizona and 3 hosting the Padres. Pitching matchups for the Cubs series are Zambrano/Cain (Carlos has been on fire lately), Randy Wells/Sanchez, then the rookie Bumgarner vs. Ryan Dempster. Lincecum/Chacin seems set to start off the Rockies series, but with yesterday off they can work it so Ubaldo Jiminez is getting that game (with off days and post season chances on the line, I'm hesitant to predict who'll go when). But suffice it to say, in 6 of those games, only one of our 3 competitiors can win. If San Fran gets hot and wins at least 2 vs. each, that's 2 fewer for Colorado and San Diego (remember if just one tops us, we still make the playoffs).
San Diego had yesterday off, before ending on 13 straight (3 in LA, 3 hosting the Central leading Reds, 4 hosting the Cubs followed by that final 3 in San Fran mentioned above). They need to win at least 7 for that 90 mark, and do it while the Dodgers are sending out Chad Billingsley today, Ted Lily tomorrow, and Hiroki Kuroda Thursday. The Reds will be coming to town with a day off before, and will be trying to clinch the division (and can set up their rotation with it seems all but Cueto). Then come the aforementioned hot Cubbies, and a showdown with the Giants. Very difficult schedule imo.
Colorado also has 13 straight to end the year after having yesterday off. 3 in Arizona (go KJ and LaRoche!), followed by 3 at home against the Giants, 3 hosting the Dodgers, and 4 in St Louis (which will likely be playing spoiler, but could possibly be gunning for the Reds). That's 7 on the road (they're 31-43 away from Coors). The Giants seem set to throw Lincecum, Zito, and Cain at them. The Diamondbacks go Joe Saunders, Rodrigo Lopez, and Ian Kennedy. With only 82 wins, they'll need at least to win on the road to reach 90, and winning at home won't be easy since it appears they'll get the best of both the Giants and Dodgers rotations.
Suffice it to say, if we can win one of the next 2 in Philadelphia, and then win the series against the Nats and Marlins, the last 3 against the Phils might not matter. Of course that requires winning both series against our troublesome inner divisional rivals, but it's certainly something this team can accomplish, and given the circumstances no one should be crying about how we'll never make it because we couldn't get the ball to bounce right last night.