The NL Leading Atlanta Braves Have Swept An Amazing 11 Teams
The Incredible Atlanta Braves
The Atlanta Braves have had an outstanding season, possibly exceeding anyone’s realistic expectations. Without the Washington Nationals to contend in the NL East, Atlanta has had free will to dominate the division and build the best the record in baseball. In the month of August, the Braves went 15-4 in games against NL East opponents, which was been key in contending with the streaking Los Angeles Dodgers.
The biggest strength of the Braves is that they go on hot streaks, but rarely do they get cold. While they’ve had two winning streaks over ten games long, Atlanta’s longest losing streak is only four games. Twice have the Braves lost four consecutive games, once was in April and once in June.
Consecutive wins and losses are big in baseball, especially in the postseason. When a team goes on a losing streak, it usually means the bats have gone cold, and the best medicine for bad hitting is good pitching. A lot of weight falls on the shoulders of the pitchers in losing streaks; one good outing can prevent a team from spiraling downward. For example, Francisco Liriano from the Pittsburgh Pirates has been the rock for that team. He is 7-1 on days when he starts after the Pirates lose; that’s huge. When you consider the past two seasons the Pirates have had, it’s easy to see that Liriano’s performance and presence in that lineup has pushed the Pirates to the next level.
That’s what has carried the Braves this year, too. When injuries have crippled the lineup, the pitching has always been there. Even after Tim Hudson went down, the staff stepped up and relentlessly battled through the dog days of the season, and they have won a lot of games in the process. Atlanta has a .718 win percentage since the All-Star break.
So, with all these streaks Atlanta has enjoyed, the team has left behind a lot of victims. This piece looks at the teams who have been swept by the Braves this season, all 11 of them.
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The Braves started off the season hot, losing only once before starting on a 10 game streak to begin the season. The Chicago Cubs were first to feel the wrath of the streaking Braves. Those were the only games in which Chicago faced Atlanta, the season series remains at 3-0.
The Miami Marlins were the second victims of the season to the streaking Braves. Atlanta leads the season series against the Marlins 9-4. Embarrassingly, the Marlins now have as many overall wins as the Braves have at home.
The Washington Nationals have had the hardest time facing Atlanta this season. The Braves lead the season series 12-4, and have swept the struggling Nationals twice overall.
Los Angeles Dodgers
Atlanta swept the Los Angeles Dodgers, when they were only a framework of what they are now. Later, the Braves split a series against the more competent Dodgers. The season series record is 5-2.
The Minnesota Twins had to face the Braves in their own house, and fared like many others have. The Twins were dispatched in three games, and haven’t been heard from since.
Even the first place Pittsburgh Pirates have been victim to Atlanta’s wrath. Since the acquisitions Pittsburgh has made, the team doesn’t look quite like they did when the Braves swept them back in June. The season series sits at 4-3.
The Arizona Diamondbacks have endured their fair share of pain against Atlanta; the Braves swept them in June and lead the season series 4-2.
St. Louis Cardinals
It hasn’t been long (late July), since the St. Louis Cardinals were swept by Atlanta, but they almost returned the favor a few weeks later when they took 3-4 against the Braves in August. The season series against these NL Central contenders is at 4-3 Atlanta.
The Colorado Rockies have been brutalized by Atlanta this year. They lost both games of a double-header in May, and were victims of a four game sweep in late July. The Braves lead the season series 6-1.
The Philadelphia Phillies haven’t been able to escape the Braves’ reach, being in the NL East and all. It’s been a bad season in Philly, just ask Charlie Manuel. The Braves lead the season series 8-4.
The Cleveland Indians are the most recent recipients of a good old fashioned butt whooping in Atlanta. The Braves swept them easily, in their first meeting at Turner Field since 2004.