Looking back at the Atlanta Braves worst postseason loss
By Fred Owens
It’s been a week, to be sure, but this breakdown of a playoff nightmare is to exorcise demons, engage in a catharsis, … or whatever you want to call it… to ease the pain of this soul who steadfastly backs these Atlanta Braves.
The Atlanta Braves added another chapter of postseason misery last Wednesday when a series of mental mistakes led to a ten-run first and ended a promising season in the worst possible way.
Things went south for the Atlanta Braves before the fans settled in their seats for game five. A walk, sac bunt, infield single, and dropped third strike, put the Braves behind; then it got worse.
Twenty-six minutes and a pitching change later, the Cardinals had ten runs on the board before the Braves grabbed a bat.
That game put the dagger in, but the Braves lost the series in game four when they failed to score in consecutive innings with the bases loaded. The lineup featuring the National League’s number two, eleven, sixteen, twenty-five, and fifty-six RBI men managed only an improbably inept seven hits with Runners in Scoring Position (RISP) in the series, and two of those didn’t score a run.
Middle of the order bats that produced all year – Freddie Freeman, Josh Donaldson, Nick Markakis, and Matt Joyce, rarely made contact this series. Freeman homered with two out in the ninth inning of game one for his only RBI of the series and had three other hits, one with runners on that didn’t produce a run.
Donaldson managed three hits, including a meaningless homer in game five. Markakis had three hits as well, but generally looked lost at the plate and made a couple of mental mistakes in the field. Joyce’s luck at the plate finally expired, and Brian McCann continued the run of futility that began with his return from the injury list.