I ask this because following the Braves' loss on Wednesday -- their sixth in ten games -- our Braves blog, Talking Chop, is freaking out.
Write your own recap if you'd like. I'm so sick of this. I just wish, for once, someone would man up and do something.At this point, I'd rather just lose the rest of our games than keep this crap up.
I understand this despair. In 2006, the Braves' unprecedented streak of 14 consecutive division titles effectively died during a stretch in which they lost 15 of 17 games. Fans freaked out, and for good reason, because the Braves were left in a sub-.500 hole that they never managed to dig out of.
I can't deny that if the Braves continue at their recent pace, they will probably miss the playoffs altogether. After the jump, though, I'll do my best to give Atlanta fans some reasons for optimism.
- The Braves get two three-game series with the Phillies. One away, and one at home. To be honest, the first series is terrifying: the Braves will start Jair Jurrjens (struggling this month), Mike Minor (also struggling), and Tommy Hanson (pitching well) against the Phillies' three-headed monster of Cole Hamels, Roy Halladay, and Roy Oswalt. They're also playing in Philly; the Braves are ten games below .500 on the road, while the Phillies are 47-28 at home. The Braves' mission is simply to avoid getting swept in this series.
The second series, though, is in Atlanta. The final two games of this series are played during the day, when the Phillies are far less good (25-22 in day games vs. 61-39 in night games). They also happen to be the two final games of the season, which one would assume would lead to larger home crowds.
The Braves should be able to win three of these six games. This wouldn't help them in the N.L. East race, but would at least keep them from losing ground in the wild card race, which they lead by half a game as of Thursday morning.
- The Braves have winning records this season against their remaining opponents. Curiously enough, the only team the Braves have a losing record against is the Nationals (7-8). This certainly doesn't offset the Braves' wonky home/road split (52-23 at home, 31-41 on the road), but it lessens the disadvantage to some degree.
- The Giants, the Braves' biggest threat in the wild card race, have an unfavorable remaining schedule. After Thursday night's game against the Dodgers, the Giants play five teams against whom they have a cumulative 24-29 record this season.
- Jason Heyward is really good. Boom! He hits home runs all the time. He will probably hit a home run every time he's at bat for the rest of the season.
- Bobby Cox is actually a wizard. The only reason he's retiring after the season is because he's going to go on a quest to collect nirnroot. He will mix this nirnroot with leopard's paw to gain the ability to transform on command into a leather sofa. I really don't know how this would benefit anybody, but it's further testament to the idea that Bobby Cox finishes what he starts.
- Online sports people are disproportionately pro-Braves. I'm a Braves fan. So is John Taylor, SB Nation's editorial director. So is Andy Hutchins, our new associate editor. So is Will Brinson over at CBS and FanHouse. So is Craig Calcaterra at Hardball Talk. So are plenty of others. We have all agreed that no matter how the games actually play out, we will report as though the Braves have reached the postseason. We're here for you.