In the seven days between Monday of last week and Sunday, the Braves played a grand total of eight games against a pair of National League East division opponents that they really needed to beat. In those games, which were all played at Atlanta’s SunTrust Park, the Braves went 3-5 against the Philadelphia Phillies and the New York Mets.
On Monday of last week, the Braves began a four-game series against the Phillies that ran all the way through last Thursday. Atlanta dropped the first two games of the series, 11-4 and 3-1, but bounced back to win the final two games, 14-1 and 3-1. Atlanta’s 14 runs against Philadelphia on Wednesday of last week was a season-high for Atlanta, who set the bar with a 13-run showing on June 4 against the Reds.
Atlanta picked up its third straight win on Friday with a 3-2 victory over the New York Mets. Atlanta played a rare doubleheader on Saturday, a twin bill that included a game to make up for one that was rained out earlier in the season. Atlanta lost both of those games on Saturday and dropped the fourth game of the series, 2-1, on Sunday.
When the dust settled from those eight games last week, Atlanta found itself tied for third place in the division with the Florida Marlins and 11 games behind the division leading Washington Nationals. The Mets were in second place and the Phillies were bringing up the rear with a 21-40 overall record.
This week, Atlanta finds itself in a situation similar to where they were last week. Between Monday and this coming Sunday, the Braves were scheduled to play six games against a pair of division opponents, which presents Atlanta with a good chance to move up in the division standings.
Atlanta was scheduled to play a set of three road games against the Nationals Monday through yesterday (Wednesday). After a day off today (Thursday), Atlanta will play a three-game home series against the Marlins between tomorrow (Friday) and Sunday.
I think it’s significant to note that today’s day off will be Atlanta’s first day off in two weeks, going all the way back to June 1. I think it’s also significant that tomorrow night’s game against Miami will mark the start of 10 straight home games for Atlanta, who are scheduled to play the San Francisco Giants and the Milwaukee Brewers after their three game set with the Marlins.
Major League Baseball released its third update of fan voting for the National League All-Star Game starters on Monday and, unfortunately, none of the Braves were listed among the top vote-getters. Fans get to pick the starter at every position except for starting pitcher and with Freddie Freeman on the disabled list, Atlanta really doesn’t have much of a shot at landing an all-start starter.
This year’s All-Star Game will be played in San Diego on July 12. Fan voting will remain open online until June 29, so if you’d like to cast a ballot visit www.mlb.com/all-star/ballot.