Enjoy the excitement of a meaningful regualar season finale
There is nothing you can do about the damage that has already been done. You can sit around think about losing six of nine to the Nationals and Pirates in September or you can enjoy the excitement created by the fact that the finale of a 162-game season truly means something in Atlanta.
Heading into the weekend, it didn’t seem hard to believe that the Phillies would come to Atlanta and win the first two games of this weekend’s series. But there was little reason to believe that this would happen at the same time the Padres were keeping their playoff hopes alive with a pair of victories in San Francisco.
Regardless of what happens this afternoon, the Braves won’t know what their fate until the Giants and Padres finish their series finale at about 7:30 p.m. ET.
- A Braves win combined with a Padres loss would clinch the Wild Card for the Braves and set them up to begin the National League Division Series in San Francisco Thursday.
- If both the Braves and Padres realize the same result (win or loss) today, there will be one game played Monday or Tuesday at Turner Field to determine who gets the Wild Card entry. The game would be played Tuesday if both teams win and force the Giants and Padres to play Monday to determine who wins the NL West.
- A Padres win and Braves loss would mark the end of the Braves season and Bobby Cox’s legendary managerial career.
Conrad to play 2B: After watching Brooks Conrad commit costly throwing errors in the first two games of this series, Cox has decided to position Conrad at second base and move the ever-versatile Omar Infante to third base for this series finale.
Cox said he felt the need to give Conrad a chance to relax and distance himself from the nightmares he’s experienced at the hot corner.
“I don’t think he’s slept in two days probably,” Cox said. “I used to throw them away. I threw one away. It cost us a ballgame in Detroit and I’ll never forget it. I was the only left in the dugout. I was beating bats and helmets. (Yankees bullpen coach) Jim Hegan came out of the bullpen, put his arm around me and said, “let’s go.”
The Braves had the option of keeping Infante at second base and positioning Troy Glaus at third base. Those who watched Glaus play third base for a week at Triple-A Gwinnett have said “he was able to make all of the routine plays.”
In other words, Glaus didn’t display any surprising mobility.
Still if the Braves advance to the postseason, I have to wonder if they might not be able to benefit by having Glaus in the lineup. (I can’t believe that sentence came off the tip of these fingertips.)
While facing the aces that they’ll see in October, the Braves won’t be able to play station-to-station ball and prove successful. They may need to benefit from the instant offense that Glaus might be able to occasionally provide with his power potential.
But before worrying about what they might do over the next couple weeks, the Braves have to escape today with the realization that this season includes a tomorrow.