The Atlanta Braves dropped both games of a doubleheader against the Washington Nationals Tuesday. While both occurrences are surprising, there is no need to declare a state of emergency in Braves Nation.
Taking into consideration the events surrounding the games, two Nationals wins shouldn’t raise any eyebrows. The tragic and disheartening events that occurred just one day earlier a few blocks from Nationals Stadium no doubt added an extra spark for a Washington ballclub that is suddenly a Wild Card dark horse. While nothing can fully heal the pain felt throughout the District over the loss of at least 13 lives, a couple hours of quality and inspired baseball does help in a small way. It wouldn’t be surprising if Atlanta gets swept; the Nats are playing for a bit more than baseball at this point.
Looking ahead, the Braves have matchups with the Chicago Cubs, Milwaukee Brewers and Philadelphia Phillies. Both the Phillies and Brewers have won seven of their last games (as of September 17), but they are well below .500 and playing for nothing at all. The Cubs have long since packed it in for the year. Winning six or seven of these remaining 10 games would have the Braves looking good for the best record in the National League and right back amongst World Series favorites. However, if they struggle against these teams and stumble into the playoffs, it may be time to fully focus on some football.