Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Making A Late Run

Don’t look now but the Braves from Atlanta are taking a sniff at returning to the post season. They are the hottest team in baseball right now with a 7 game winning streak, 8-2 in the last 10. The Braves were written off by just about all experts, and fans alike needing to jump at least 3 teams. For the last month it was believed to be a 2 horse race in the senior circuit with the Rockies and the Giants - with the Marlins sprinkled in for good measure.

In the last couple weeks those teams have fallen off the page and the Braves have been playing like a team on a mission. The things that are majorly working against them is that they are rapidly running out of real estate with only 7 games remaining and still being down 2 games. There are no head-to-head games between the Rockies and the Braves and the 2 teams that the Rockies have left could just “look to the future” and dress a less then major league caliber lineup. I guess we will see how much the Dodgers and Brewers dislike the Rockies.

Team leader Chipper Jones came out in a rare public move to encourage the fans in Atlanta to come out to the park for the last games and be the teams’ 10th and 11th man. That didn’t work last night but maybe if they keep winning more people will be encouraged to go out. After the 14 straight playoff appearances and perhaps becoming numb to winning the Braves have been on the outside looking in to the playoffs. Maybe the fans will remember that playoff baseball is a special thing. The more people that go to the games the more it will have that feeling like there was in the mid 90’s when the stadium was packed and loud. When you've got the tomahawk chop going and the chant booming and the drum beating it can give you goose bumps.

Just like in many other sports it is hard not to think about the what if's...over 162 games there are always a few games that you think you should have won. A bad break here a bloop base hit or untimely error and you say "we'll get them tomorrow" and then at the end of the year you are left kicking yourself thinking 'what if'. The Braves have a very solid pitching staff ad they are the backbone of the run they are on right now. If the bats can stay consistent maybe they can make the improbable possible. It is a long shot but as a true fan I have to believe, believe in the now and hope for some luck.
I don't want to wait until next year...to be so close is just such a tease.
Whatever happens it has been a heck of a stretch and a good fight


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