Atlanta Braves podcast S2E26: Come hop on the bandwagon

Join the party on the bandwagon as the Atlanta Braves have vaulted into 1st place. (Photo by Martin Grimes/Getty Images for Deezer)
Join the party on the bandwagon as the Atlanta Braves have vaulted into 1st place. (Photo by Martin Grimes/Getty Images for Deezer) /

It seems like it took months — and it did — for the Atlanta Braves to find a formula that works for them.  Suddenly… dramatically… the turn-around has happened.

August 1st.  The Atlanta Braves fell to Milwaukee by a frustrating score:  2-1.

In restrospect, it really wasn’t all that bad, since this game completed a tough stretch that traced back to the All-Star break.  Games against Tampa Bay, the Padres, Phillies, Mets, and Brewers were not to be taken lightly.  An 8-9 run against those teams… not a terrible result.

But we all felt that the Braves should have done more.  7 of the 11 losses (counting all losses since the Break) came by 1 single run.  Another was by 2 runs.

2 days before, Atlanta put 5 earned runs up against Corbin Burnes… and couldn’t seal the deal.

That August 1st loss left the Braves still floundering in the land of mediocrity with a 52-54 record… 17 games without consecutive wins or losses (pending the outcome of the suspended Padres game).

The NL East standings after that evening were as follows:

  • Mets (55-49)
  • Phillies (52-53), 3.5 Games Behind
  • Braves (52-54), 4 GB
  • Washington (49-56), 6.5 GB
  • Miami (44-61), 11.5 GB

What a difference three weeks has made.  A 14-2 record.  Sweeps of the Cardinals, Nationals, and Marlins.  Baltimore still on the schedule for 2 more as of this writing.

Your new NL East standings here on the afternoon of August 21st?

  • Braves (66-56)
  • Phillies (62-60), 4 GB
  • Mets (60-62), 6 GB
  • Washington (53-68), 12.5 GB
  • Miami (51-72), 15.5 GB

The crazy part is that had Atlanta gone 8-8 in those last 16 games, they’d be tied with the Mets and “only” 2 games behind the Phillies.

But we’d also bemoan the fact that they hadn’t beaten up on the beatable teams that the schedule had provided.

Things will get a bit tougher from here, no doubt:  the American League’s equivalent of the Braves — the Yankees — await next week.  Yet the Braves should be able to hold serve against them.

From that point, we start to see some West Coast clubs and see how tough they really are.  The Mets have learned the hard way, but they aren’t as well-equipped as the Braves are right now, either.

Still:  this is exactly what we’d hoped to see… a run that has overtaken first place and kept going.  Now this club needs to push on a hold that margin… expanding it if at all possible.

This week’s podcast talks about this success and how the team is set up to continue it.  It’s probably the most upbeat one we’ve had in a long time… and for obvious reasons.

Feel free to grab the audio file from this handy download link, from your favorite subscription site — and please do subscribe, if you would — or just hit the ‘play’ button on this player below.

This is finally the Atlanta Braves team that we’d hoped to see all year — despite having to endure significant losses to key weapons.  Let’s keep this ball rolling.