ATLANTA (WAOK)-Freddie Freeman grounded into a double-play to end last night’s game and also the season for the Atlanta Braves, who were looking to force a play-in game with the St. Cardinals for the NL wild card came up short losing to the Phillies 4-3 13innings.
With the Braves loss the Cardinals claimed the NL Wild Card with an 8-0 win over the Houston Astros.
The Braves had a 10-and-a-half game lead in the Wild Card standings as of August 25th.
So who’s to blame?
I could say Freddi Gonzalez managerial style set the Braves back before the season was even got into full swing. He shuffled the line up so much it looked like almost every day for 3 months or so.
Maybe his players gave up on him?
Well I could say Dan Uggla’s terrible first half performance but he turned it around just in time for the second half of the season and the fact that the Braves had a 10-and-a-half lead in the wild card last month makes that argument null and void.
The real reason in my opinion is just too many injuries down the stretch from guys that the team really depends including starting pitchers Jair Jurrjens and Tommy Hanson, not to mention Chipper being injured several times, and Jason Heyward’s lack of productivity.
The good news for Braves’ fans is that the majority of this team will be back together next season with the addition of Michael Bourne at the trade deadline, the team will have an experienced everyday lead-off hitter something that they’ve needed desperately for the past few seasons, Uggla has found his place within the Braves lineup, Chipper’s back, and the youngsters Freeman & Kimbrel will be better than they were this year.
I know for many Braves fans last night felt like the 90’s when the Braves had some dramatic finishes during their many runs to the World Series. However, last night there was no one named Cabrera, Bream, Glavine, Maddux, Pendleton, Justice, Smith, or Grissom to provide any last minute heroics.
The MLB Playoff picture is now set with: The Rays facing the Texas Rangers and the Yankees versus the Detroit Tigers in the AL Division Series.
In the NL division series: The Cardinals will face the league’s best Philadelphia Phillies and the Milwaukee Brewers take on the Arizona Diamondbacks.
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