September 19, 2011

Grand Slam Breakfast

This is getting ugly. After getting swept by the St. Louis Cardinals and barely getting by the Marlins the Braves just lost two of three games from the New York Mets. The terrible, unmotivated and mostly AAA caliber New York Mets… if the Braves don’t turn it around quick, they are going to be in for a long, long winter.

Sure, the Braves still hold a 3.5 game lead in the Wild Card, but the way they have been playing of late is like being the prettiest waitress at a Denny’s.  Sure you’ll get better tips than the rest of the girls, but the big picture is bleak.  You work at a Denny’s.  If the Braves were my waitress right now, I’d ask to see a manager and I certainly wouldn’t leave 20%.  If they don’t pull themselves together soon, they may just be working at Denny’s for a long time and by working at Denny’s I mean losing out to losers like the Mets.  This limp to the finish line isn’t going to impress many people and not going to get them far IF they make the playoffs.

The Braves have three series left this season and there’s really no reason they can’t get the job done. Or, should I say, they SHOULD get the job done. They will have to face their nemesis one more time this season and it may determine if they make the playoffs; and no, I’m NOT talking about the Phillies.

They start off with three games in Florida against a team they have owned this year—of course the Braves will face the Marlins’ best pitchers (Nolasco, Sanchez and Vazquez). It will be the last time the Braves play the Florida Marlins (as they will become the Miami Marlins) and the last time at Sun Life? Stadium. I will kind of miss tuning in to see the 12 fans in the stadium on a given night.

The Braves travel to Washington D.C next and play at team that owns them. It doesn’t seem to matter where the game is played, or who is playing for either team—the Nats simply own the Braves. It looks like we will see the bionic arm of Stephen Strasburg next weekend. My only solace is that he hasn’t been pitching deep in games (and probably won’t this year).

The Braves finish the year against the Phillies, who have nothing to play for except to spoil the Braves shot at a playoff berth. I would imagine the Phillies will rest some of the regular players and will set their pitching rotation, so the Braves may luck out and miss Halladay and Lee. Or at least I pray they do!

Be careful what you wish for; that’s something I seem to be saying to myself more and more. A few weeks ago I was worried that the Braves had such a big lead in the Wild Card that they would go into the playoffs without playing a meaningful game for 2 weeks. Now, I just want them to get there. I’m telling myself that maybe it’s good they are slumping now. They are too good to keep playing this poorly for a whole month, so when the NLDS comes around they will heat up and make a run at the whole thing. Whatever gets you through the day, right?

Brian McCann can’t keep slumping. Martin Prado’s average can’t keep going lower and lower. Jonny Venters can’t walk every batter he faces and Derek Lowe can’t let in 6 runs every start. OK, Maybe the Lowe thing can happen, but it can’t keep going this way for the Braves. It just can’t! They will win these last three series and they will make the playoffs. No more will the Braves be serving Grand Slam Breakfasts to truckers in spaghetti stained wife beaters. The Braves are going all the way!

Follow me on Twitter @BRAVEinNY.



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