Braves set for yet another stress-filled finale

Now is not the time to evaluate how the Braves put themselves in this position.  There will be plenty more opportunities to dissect what has gone wrong since they entered the regular season’s final month with an 8 1/2-game lead in the National League Wild Card race.

Instead fans, players and anybody affiliated with the Braves organization should simply embrace their current position, even if it was one they never wanted.   I’m pretty sure there are a whole lot of Giants and Angels fans who would love to still be feeling the stress that fans and players from both Red Sox Nation and Braves Nation are feeling today.

The month of September has proven to be far worse than any Red Sox or Braves fan could ever imagined.  At the same time, it has been far better than any Rays or Cardinals fan could ever imagine.

Consequently, the next day or two could prove to be as special as any you experience this October.

Like the Braves and Cardinals enter their final regular season games tied atop the National League Wild Card standings, the Red Sox and Rays approach their respective finales tonight tied for the American League’s Wild Card lead.

Major League Baseball could not have asked for a more dramatic finish.

So now that you’ve had plenty of time to digest the fact that the Braves have lost four consecutive games and 17 of their past 25 games, it seems you have no other choice but to sit back and enjoy the stress that engulfs you tonight as the Braves play the Phillies and the Cardinals play the Astros.

For more than a week, the Braves were hoping to avoid using Tim Hudson before the playoffs began.  That plan obviously fell apart as they lost eight of their past 11 games.

But now that the Braves find themselves fighting preserve what once seemed to be a certain playoff spot, they are at least fortunate to have the opportunity to send Hudson to the mound to face the Phillies tonight.

This marks the second straight year the Braves have sent Hudson to the mound to face the Phillies in their regular season finale while tied for the NL Wild Card lead.   When he was in this situation last year, the veteran hurler limited the Phillies to two hits (two two-run homers) in a determined seven-inning effort.

A few hours later after watching the Padres lose to the Giants, the Braves sprayed champagne and celebrated like they are hoping to do at some point over the next two days.

About an hour after the Braves and Phillies start playing in Atlanta, the Cardinals will send Chris Carpenter to the mound in Houston to oppose Brett Myers and the Astros.   Myers is 4-0 with a 1.23 ERA in his past four starts.

If the Braves and Cardinals are still tied at the end of play tonight, they’ll play a one-game play-in game in St. Louis Thursday night to determine which team will serve as the NL’s Wild Card entrant.  Brandon Beachy would get the start for Atlanta.

Obviously if the Braves use both Hudson and Beachy during the next two nights,  both would be unavailable for Game 1 of the Division Series.  My guess is that Mike Minor would get the nod.

Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez has not said how he might align his rotation for the Division Series.  Right now, he should just feel happy that he might still have a chance to make these decisions.

70 Comments

fabulous perspective

Don’t care about the playoffs right now. We have to worry about tonight. We have our ace on the mound and the most consistent team in the past 5 years in the other dugout. Time to man up guys.

Oh boy Matt Diaz in RF! He only has a .222 / .260 / .282 / .542 line against RHP this year! I think Frediot’s logic is to not care about his first 2-3 at bats and then sneak up on Hamels late in the game.. Regardless of what Matt Diaz does tonight, benching the club’s player w the highest OBP in September for a LHP only masher should be enough reason to fire our manager.

This move also takes away our best pinch hitter against lefties, and we will see Hamels at some point. ALSO! We take out a much superior defender in right against a lefty heavy lineup! Ugh.

Martin is up there showing bunt twice with a runner on 2nd and no outs in the first inning of a ballgame. Does this team even know how to play baseball?

Correction, does Frediot even know how to play baseball? Any sort of hit past the infield would score Bourn. So so so so stupid.

Well I guess we should have traded Uggs before the AS break.

Yes to Uggs, no to drugs.

I’m obviously stressed out by the game if I think that’s a good one…

STL scores 5 in the 1st.

I said earlier Pujols scares me. 99 RBI now, looking for 100…

Where will the playoff game be?

well good for the Braves ..so far . I’m one Phillies fan who has always liked the Braves from way back to Aaron and Matthews. I although I enjoy seeing you sweat, fret and squirm.
Uggla! out at the plate!

uh oh… things are looking a little grim now

Not to bring up bad thoughts but are we going to buy out mcclouth. And if so how much salary does he and kawakami take off the books

Chances of us not paying 1.5MM to get rid of McLouth are slim and none. Between him and The mighty KK(another QTip wonder deal) we ditch close to 15MM in salary.

Elbow pads should be illegal

Venters is gassed, but at least Fredi got him extra work during the year. How do you say bad bullpen management in Spanish?

and here we go.. kimbrel in the 9th

and a blown save for the ROY

Wow! Seriously, is he crying? Yes, he is! Poor baby.

he’s a young kid who cares… not a JD drew type

I seriously you get hit by an Utley line drive. Since, you know, you and every other fan are at every Phillie game ever.

We’re the worst. I’m embarrassed to be a Braves fan. Routine ground ball, botched. 3 outs to go, let’s walk the entire world. How stupid can you be. You throw 200 miles per hour, fucking throw the ball over the plate.

Man you can’t blame the kid. He was unhittable until he got run into the ground by an ignorant staff. He’s beat, He should have been resting 4 the last 2 weeks if our offense could have gotten more than 3 hits a night.

If you are embarrassed to be a Braves fan, go to Chicago and wear the pinstripes. Then tell me how you feel. No room for bandwagon fans here.

relax, it aint over yet

However the season ends, damn I missed medlen. Would have eased the bp load by a ton or could have replaced the drunk in the rotation.

I can blame the kid for not throwing strikes in the most important game of the season. He’s a professional, there is no excuse to walk people there. He has all the talent in the world and I have nothing bad to say about his overall production…but at this moment in time, he let everyone down because of his inability to throw a damn strike. It’s inexcusable.
And yeah Speedy, I’m a bandwagon fan. You caught me…what an idiot. If I was a bandwagon fan I wouldn’t be embarrassed, I’d just go find a new team.
I’m just upset because there are only a handful of people in the Braves organization, and that includes players, that know how to play the game.

Win Braves, want to see you in the LCS, of course I’ll be breaking balls all the way

You should never be embarrassed to be a fan….ever. The lowest point for me as a braves fan was the John Rocker experiment. But I’ve never been embarrassed of our team. Pissed, sure. Let down, of course. But embarrassed, never.

Guys, we’ve got a lot of young talent. A lot of guys who need more time out there and will surely be great players for years to come. Even if we win this game and tomorrow we are probably relegated to looking towards the future.

This is it Martin. Prado or Prado not. There is no try.

Okay, next time try.

Scott Linedrivestink is in. I think we all know where this is going.

And our season rests with Linebrink.

Well it was a fun season for a little while. Now we’ll be relegated to hoping for ROY candidates.

Well, that’s ashamed, but you shouldn’t have walked Schneider.

Anybody want to crow about what a great GM Qtip is right now?

What is the matter with you? Bourn dies on first base? Pitch to Pence with Martinez on deck?
You deserve to lose.

We didn’t lose you fucking idiot, the Braves lost. We are not the team, you are not the Phillies. We have no delusions of grandeur. Have you yet to realize how pathetic it is for a cheerleader to try and taunt an opposing teams fans?

And you should have walked Hunter Pence.

Bill what does FW have to do with this. Players CHOKED. period.

I think he’s implying the Linebrink trade ends our season.

McCann double play. Calling it.

I meant Freeman double play.

it aint over til its over you bowman blog sissies

ok maybe its over now… sorry boys and girls

Hey Laurence- IT”S OVER>!

Bullpen game. Ha.

I HATE the Phillies, but for all the right reasons. They’re damn good. They’re exactly how a team should play. They play hard, get timely hits, and make outs when they need to. They drive me crazy because they’re everything that my team is not… and that is why I hate them. Good luck and go rep the NL East.

Beautifully said. Concise, simple. A bull’s eye.

Starting the offseason checklist right now: 1.) Get better conditioning coaches for our pitchers, 2.) Trade Derek Lowe at all costs. 3.) FIX JASON HEYWARD.

You forgot to put fire the moron manager as #1 on your list.

well, again, would of loved to see you guys in the LCS, but .. still. and I know this sucks.. Braves will be better next year

Thanks and its agreed. We will be better next year. Lots and lots of young talent who will feel the effects of this loss for months. They will hopefully have a fire in their guts and desire to come out and dominate the competiton. We need more moxie and failure creates that.

Too bad for you guys. I don’t usually like busting balls, but a couple of your compadres brought it on with some false bravado on our board. Sorry that I crawled in the mud with them.
You got a decent young team with a chance to get better but you need some leadership. It was obvious that they took the heat down the stretch. And you can’t use a bullpen like that. Your big three were on fumes at the end. Cya next season.

Thanks for the respect, man. Seriously – you guys the best team in baseball and have been the best run organization the last 5 years. You’re on top. Enjoy it. Next season we’ll be a year older and we will not forget.

Thanks for the respect. Nothings guaranteed, but the team is definitely built to get to the dance. Gotta get there first. The pitching should be fine, just need the timely hits. Pence was a huge pickup, and Charlie finally broke up Utley and Howard.

And I HATE the Phillies.

I think the Phillies go 3 and out as usual.

Didn’t you pick the Braves over the Phillies way back when as well?

No, somebody went 3 and out already this week.

And you guys said we would make the playoffs didnt you. I knew we wouldnt. Wow, glad we didnt trade jurrjens when his value was at its peak now. This world series run is going to be amazing. O wait.

Dude, I’m a Phillies phan. And I have to tell you, after reading this blog on and off this season, you are the absolute worst. Billreef is a clown, but you top them all. You are more negative than any fan of any team that I have ever seen.
You knew they wouldn’t make the playoffs? Even when the percentages of not making it in late August was something like 0.5%? How prescient of you. I am sure these other Braves fans just want you to go away.

He’s not a fan; he’s a coward. Even with Hanson and Jurrjens hurt, if we would have had a normal year out of Ptrado and even a decent year out of Jason Heyward, we would have longed guaranteed a playoff spot. Our bullpen and rookies pitched well enough(even Linebrink; last night was not his fault) when our offense decided to roll over. Fredi needs to think outside of the box for once in his life. I mean, he dropped Prado down and put Chipper in the two hole, both of them started hitting. After like 3 games of that, he turned it back to the old lineup. WHY FREDI? If it’s the exact opposite of broken, why fix it? Honestly, even with the million and a half bad umpire calls this year(not all against us, that’s to Jerry Meals), hurt pitching staff, and inconsistent performances from key offensive players, a little better managing could have won us upwards of 5 more games this year.

phan, you’re at it again. There is no joy in Atlanta or Boston this morning. Let the forlorn lick their wounds in peace, for crying out loud.

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