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Series Recap: Braves At Marlins

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The Braves lost the weekend series against the Marlins and also lost the season series against Miami. There's no two ways around it: This was an ugly series for Atlanta.

Robert Mayer-USA TODAY Sports

The Braves went into this series in a position where they needed to win as many games as possible with the logjam for the 2nd Wild Card spot getting tighter and tighter. Unfortunately, they only won one out of the three games this weekend, and the two losses that the Marlins handed them were particularly nasty.

The first game of the series was a complete disaster for the Braves, as the Marlins absolutely rocked Aaron Harang and didn't let up. They score 6 runs at Harang's expense, and they eventually scored 5 more to make the final score 11-3. For Harang, it was yet another bad start in a series of them, and it's become time where the team should begin to question whether or not he should be making starts anymore with a playoff spot on the line. With only 19 games left in the season, this isn't the time to see if he can figure it out, and this should be the time where they just consider themselves happy with what Harang has already contributed to the team as a starter throughout this season and put him into a diminished role.

The second game was much better for the Braves, as they were the ones who struck first and actually never trailed. Unfortunately, a great performance by Alex Wood ended up going by the wayside when a 3-1 lead in the 8th inning of that game turned into a 3-3 tie when Jordan Walden gave up the game-tying runs in that frame. Despite losing the lead, David Carpenter calmed things down by getting the Braves out of that inning and through a clean 9th inning, forcing extra innings. After squandering a couple of chances earlier, Evan Gattis made up for it by hitting a triple that ended up being called a home run after further review, and his homer ended up being the difference in the game, making sure that the Braves would leave Miami with at least one victory under their belt.

The second victory wouldn't come, as the Braves got completely stymied by Brad Hand. When this Braves offense is not clicking (which has happened more often these days than we'd wish), they can make any pitcher look dominant, and that's what happened on Sunday. Hand made it through 6 scoreless innings for what was arguably his best start of the season. Meanwhile, the Braves had a golden chance in the 6th inning with runners on 2nd and 3rd and nobody out and didn't cash in a single run. That was also when the Marlins pushed across 3 runs to put the game out of reach and secure the Marlins' first series victory since mid-August. There's no sugarcoating it here; This was a pretty bad loss.

Now, after stumbling and bumbling through a series loss against the Marlins, the Braves are now headed to the Nation's Capital to face off against the Washington Nationals, who appear to be well on their way to securing the 2014 National League East crown. The only way that the Braves are going to have any sort of shot at winning the division is by sweeping the Nationals in the final 6 games between each other, and even then, they'll need a bit of help. One thing is for sure: Losing 2 out of 3 in Miami over the weekend definitely didn't help matters in that race, and more importantly for the Braves at this point, the NL Wild Card race.