It's official, the MLB regular season is over for the Atlanta Braves, and they'll be riding a cool two-game winning streak into the offseason after a 2-1 win on Sunday. Maybe if the Braves pitching staff, lead by five different pitchers, had played this well all season, there would still be more games to be played for Atlanta, but that's neither here nor there.
It seems like the past month has just been one long controversy of whether Braves manager Fred Gonzalez should be running the squad come 2015. Unfortunately for us, it's not our decision to make, but John Hart's (at least it is for now). And whether you like it or not, it seems like he's on board with bringing Fredi back for another tour of duty.
Dan Uggla set the Braves's strikeout record last season with 171. if there's one player that Braves fans have hated more than Dan in the past year, it would have to be B.J. Upton, who is lucky enough to hold the new franchise record of strikeouts in a single season, with 173. His brother Justin was only three behind him with 170.
There's no doubting the fact that Craig Kimbrel is one of the most dominant closers in the game right now. You also can't fight around the fact that his unique pre-pitch stance is rather unique. Phillies fans with seats behind home plate would happen to agree apparently, as they can be seen mocking the stance in the ninth inning of Saturday's game. Instead of being insulted, Kimbrel found it humorous, actually:
"It was quite funny after the fact," Kimbrel said. "I'm actually glad I didn't see it while they were doing it because I might have laughed myself out there on the mound."
There's arguably no better way to head into the playoffs than coming off of a no-hitter, the first in the history of the Nationals. On Sunday against the Miami Marlins, Jordan Zimmerman went all nine innings, giving up no hits, no walks. On top of it all, it was capped off with an incredible diving catch with two outs in the top of the ninth:
"Whatever he wants," Zimmermann said, when asked what he would buy Souza. "I don't even care. I thought that was a double for sure, and here he comes out of nowhere and makes the play. All the guys behind me today did a great job. We were switching guys in and out. This is a big win for us, and I've got to thank all these guys playing behind me."
All it took was a .319 batting average to take the National League batting title for Colorado's Justin Morneau. In the American League, Jose Altuve batted over 20 points higher than Morneau did to win his respective league's title, with a .341 average. This is the second year in a row where a Rockie has won the NL title, with Michael Cuddyer batting .331 last year to take the crown.