Braves in Wildcard Race

No matter how well the pre-season reports are made or how incredible the season seems to be going, it should come as no surprise that Georgia teams struggle to make it to the playoffs. Whether it is five yards from scoring the winning touchdown or a terrible call made by an umpire that defines the rest of the game, one can bet with absolute certainty that the ending of Georgia teams’ seasons always ensure dramatics. Year after year, us Georgia fans are let down by all of our teams barely missing the mark of gaining access into the post-season. More so than the Falcons or GA Bulldogs, the Atlanta Braves sure do know how to give their fans heart attacks in watching the intense battles season after season to get a spot in the playoffs. The ending of the 2014 season will be no different.

Andrelton Simmons

Andrelton Simmons

The Braves are in the race to secure the second and final wildcard slot for the National League to get into post-season play. Coming off of dropping the series to the Marlins this past weekend, however, they are not making that run easy on themselves. They currently stand seven back in the division, and trailing just behind the Pittsburgh Pirates, making it tight three-team battle for that second wildcard spot. Luckily for the Braves, their next opponent is the Washington Nationals, who have an underwhelming record against them this season. This series is crucial for the Braves to not only gain wins, but to help bring down the Nationals off of their five game lead in the NL East. Mike Minor, who is 0-1 in four career starts in Nationals Stadium, will have to shut down the batters early and quick when he takes the mound on Monday night. Favorites such as Andrelton Simmons, Justin Upton, and Evan Gattis will have to make sure they are up to the task and out of the gutter to assist the team by bringing in those much needed runs. If the game gets close and the call is made to the man on fire, spectators and fans everywhere can almost always count on Craig Kimbrel to close out the game and help put a W on the Braves’ scoreboard.

Craig Kimbrel

Craig Kimbrel

Kimbrel had yet another achievement this season-becoming the only closer in Major League history to earn 40-plus-saves in each of his first four full seasons. As long as the Braves can hold on to the lead, Kimbrel can be counted on to secure it. This series is one of the Braves’ last shots to making it into post-season play, and they must be on top of their game to achieve that goal.
In these last few weeks of the regular season, the state of Georgia has hesitantly rallied behind our Atlanta Braves, wishing and praying that they’ll actually make it into the post-season this time around. If we are let down yet again, at least we well informed on how to cope with the loss and focus our attention on the Bulldogs and Falcons, where we can pass out from holding our breath all over again.

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