Hey Chipper Jones, pull your October traveling outfit out of your cedar closet, it's time to get ready for a hasty Braves playoff run! Thanks to the pitching stylings of Jair Jurrjens, the Braves topped the Marlins 4-0 last night. The squad in Atlanta has won a whopping 15 of their last 17 games, part of a surging September 17-8 record that has seen them close down the gap in two different National League races. They're within four games of the division-leading Phillies and only two games behind the Wild Card-leading Rockies.
Can they do it? I don't know, two games is still a huge gap to close with just six games to go, especially when the Braves don't have a face-to-face showdown with Jim Tracy's kids. But with two games against the fading Marlins and four games against the historically bad Nationals, there's no reason to give up hope.
Critics point to the interleague schedule as part of the reason the Braves' record suffered at certain points of the year. Blah, we've heard the complaint about the great inequities in the game over and over again and nothing seems to work. Atlanta played nine games against the Yankees and Red Sox and won just three of them. But then again, the Rockies faced off against first place teams in Detroit and Anaheim, while also facing tough teams like Tampa and Seattle.
And of course, the Rockies haven't had a whopping 14 games against the lowly Nationals with three to go like the Braves do. The MLB schedule is as unbalanced as Milton Bradley's neurochemistry, but like Milton Bradley's neurochemistry, we're stuck with it.
But sheesh, imagine if the Braves hadn't wasted all those plate appearances on Jeff Francoeur.
(Turner Field cow photo courtesy of Flickr user Justin Fain)