This is it for the Atlanta Braves. There is no more time to mess around and dilly daddle in the standings; it's now or never in 2011 and that begins with a three-game series with the Florida Marlins.
After having a lead in the wild card of nearly 10 games just two weeks ago, Atlanta leads St. Louis -- a team that just swept the Braves this past weekend -- by a mere 4.5 games with 15 games left to play. While it would be nice for the Cardinals to help our cause by losing a few games, if the Braves take care of business the rest of the way, there won't be any problems reaching the playoffs as the wild card winner for the second consecutive season.
Turning around the mediocre play of the last few series begins Monday evening with the Marlins. Florida, a team that never managed to recover from their abysmal month of June, currently sits at 66-79, though they are fresh off a sweep of the Pittsburgh Pirates. That being said, the Marlins are a team completely out of contention and are focusing on building for 2012.
Ideally, Atlanta comes away with a sweep this week at Turner Field. Even two out of three games would work as well. But a series loss or the third consecutive sweep from an opponent? Chaos would take of Braves Country and the panic levels would be at an all-time high.
Monday, 7:10 EDT
|2011 - Brandon Beachy||7-2||22||22||0||0||0||0||126.0||106||50||46||16||36||142||3.29||1.13|
|2011 - Chris Volstad||5-12||25||25||0||0||0||0||140.2||165||90||84||21||44||100||5.37||1.49|
Tuesday, 7:10 EDT
|2011 - Mike Minor||5-2||12||12||0||0||0||0||66.2||77||33||32||3||22||61||4.32||1.49|
|2011 - Brad Hand||1-6||10||10||0||0||0||0||50.2||41||25||22||9||32||28||3.91||1.44|
Wednesday, 12:10 EDT
|2011 - Randall Delgado||0-1||4||4||0||0||0||0||20.0||15||9||8||3||9||13||3.60||1.20|
|2011 - Ricky Nolasco||10-10||30||30||2||1||0||0||190.1||225||101||93||17||40||138||4.40||1.39|
Braves Lineup, 9/12:
Bourn - CF
Chipper - 3B
Freeman - 1B
Uggla - 2B
McCann - C
Prado - LF
Heyward - RF
Gonzalez - SS
Beachy - SP