There will be reports that the Atlanta Braves have struggled a great deal in September and those reports are actually right. What they do not tell you are the facts of the season that has been a truly amazing one for the Braves and their manager Fredi Gonzalez. No team in MLB has more passionate fans than the Braves other than possibly the New York Yankees. They get extremely proud very quickly and extremely angry very quickly. This season has provided plenty of both reactions for the fans but the season itself has been incredible.
There have been tons of reasons to get upset at this team. They have had injuries and lackluster performances to overcome all season long. This September with an injured Jason Heyward it looked like things were really falling apart. But they have led their division for over 170 days which is longer than any other team in the game. They have led by four games or more since mid-May according to the official site. This is no coincidence team; they are fighters.
Whatever the postseason will bring will surely be dramatic one way or the other. This team has all the tools to complete the ride all the way to a World Series ring. If they hit on most of their cylinders there will be no one that can stop them from winning it all. Even if they are hurt and running half-speed they’ll be difficult to stop and yet it just takes one short slump to be out.
We’ll have to see what happens but they clinched in perfect time to get things straight. Craig Kimbrel can get some rest as can other members of the bullpen. Justin Upton has been an every-day player for most of the season and could probably use some R and R as well. Heyward is working on getting his legs and his bat ready for postseason pitching and this will give him a less than stressful atmosphere to do that in.
Maybe they’ll give struggling players a chance to work things out but I would look for the outfield of Heyward, Evan Gattis and J. Upton to be the one you see in October. Whether we see it for the rest of the season is up in the air. For a few days though let all of the Braves fans just feel good about this team who has given them their first division title since 2005. Who knows how long this streak will last but right now it rests happily at one.