In a few days, we'll be entering the final month of the season. As of right now, the Braves are 7.5 games behind the Nationals in the NL East, and they are 0.5 behind the Giants for the 2nd and final Wild Card spot. So, we asked a simple question: Are the Braves going to make the playoffs right now? I'm a cynical optimist, so I think that the Braves will make it in (via Wild Card) but get bounced as soon as possible. However, judging by the poll results (32% Yes, 68% No), most of y'all are just flat out cynical. However, like a wise man once said, "I ain't mad at you."
Seeing that we're close to entering the final stretch of the season, Mark Bowman took stock of the team as they head into this crucial period. He asks a few questions: "Is Atlanta Pointed In The Right Direction?" (Maybe) "Will J-Up Continue To Be A Significant Influence?" (He should be) "Is Minor Truly Back?" (PLEASE YES) and "Will This Be A September To Remember For Fredi?" (It better be or else) Bowman tries his best to answer his own questions and give Braves fans a bit of hope heading into the season's final month.
If the Braves are going to make a run to the Postseason, one thing's for certain: The offense is going to have to run hot for this final month. However, at this point in the season after 5 arduous months of baseball, you are what you are, and the Braves offense is what David O'Brien described: A Boom-Or-Bust offense. From the article:
2 weeks ago, Justin Upton joined a club with some pretty big names in it. On August 10th, Good Upton collected both his 500th career hit and his 1,000th career RBI. He's done all of this before turning 27. There are only 4 other players who have done this: Adrian Beltre, Miguel Cabrera, Albert Pujols, and Alex Rodriguez. This is just further evidence that the Braves have an absolute gem of a player on their roster, and they've got him near his peak.
The Boston Red Sox fans and media have all been doing a lot of dreaming as of late. Their current season is a wash, but there's no denying that they've got the tools needed to be a contender again, and relatively soon. Those fans and media have been openly speculating about the perfect right fielder to roam around at Fenway, and mostly those fantasies have been centered around Giancarlo Stanton. However, Scott Lauber of the Boston Herald has suggested that the Sawx poach another right fielder: Our right fielder, Jason Heyward. From the article:
The Braves probably won’t wait so long before moving Heyward, who can become a free agent after next season. And they already have tipped their hand that they don’t plan to keep him long term. In February, they locked up first baseman Freddie Freeman to an eight-year, $135 million extension one day after signing Heyward for only two years and $13.3 million.
Granted, that 2nd paragraph is extremely true and it's looking very unlikely that the Braves will be able to afford to keep Heyward here, but, bruh, the Red Sox? Ew (sorry, Shawn).
Yes, somehow that headline is true: After beating the Giants 3-2 last night at AT&T Park, this is now the longest win streak the Rockies have ever had in San Francisco, and it's a whopping total of 4. Our friends at Purple Row actually had some scathing criticism of the Giants, with this being the one that should give other teams in the Wild Card (coughTheBravescough) race a small bit of hope.
Since June 8th, the Rockies and Giants have played very similar baseball. The Rockies awful 24-44 mark over this time has been well documented on this site, but the Giants have been only 2.5 games better putting up their own dreadful 26-41 showing. Those are
goodbad for the second and third worst records in all of baseball over that span. Only the Texas Rangers have stunk it up more going 20-47.
Monday night ended up being a pretty good night for Atlanta, as not only did the Giants lose, but the Nationals lost as well, trimming that still-large divisional gap down a bit. The Phillies beat the Nationals 3-2, and they did so with A.J. Burnett striking out 12. If you allow A.J. Burnett to strike out your team 12 times in a single game in 2014, you kind of deserve to lose. Nobody here is complaining, though!
<iframe src='http://mlb.mlb.com/shared/video/embed/embed.html?content_id=35665281&width=400&height=224&property=mlb' width='400' height='224' frameborder='0'>Your browser does not support iframes.</iframe>