With the 2013 MLB Postseason coming up very soon the Atlanta Braves are already at a disadvantage of sorts. The disadvantage they have is also the same thing that is their greatest attribute. They are far enough in front of the National League East that they really will not be pushed by anyone from here on out. What they should do to make up for that is to make it a goal to sweep the division for the remainder of the season. That should start with the Washington Nationals in the weekend series where they need to end the Nats dreams officially.
The Nats have gone on a little streak of winning ways which undoubtedly will have them thinking they can somehow make a huge comeback at least in the area of the wildcard. The Braves have a duty to themselves to swat the Nats’ dreams of post season play once and for all. They have Alex Wood, Mike Minor and Julio Teheran going in the three game series that starts Friday. Those three pitchers should be able to take down their opponents or at least hold them to the point that the Braves offense has no trouble scoring more runs.
Now is the time. They go into the series leading the Nats by 14.5 games. The Nats are also out of the wildcard by 9.5 games. They do have that pesky no-quit attitude at least in interviews so the Braves would do everyone a favor by just ending that nonsense with a healthy three-game sweep. That would end the Nats winning trend, put them 17.5 games out and allow them to fall double-digits behind the wildcard race as well. That should do it. The Braves should be able to and should be disappointed if they do not. Setting goals like this might be the only way to keep everyone on their game until the real pressure games start up again.