Braves Magic Number Down to 1 With Another Win Over Phillies
The Atlanta Braves kept their foot on the Philadelphia Phillies’ throat Wednesday with a 7-2 win to bring their magic number down to one.
After the Atlanta Braves defeated the Philadelphia Phillies on Wednesday night it had me singing one of my most embarrassing favorite songs (Unwritten by Natasha Bedingfield) because of the line “so close you can almost taste it.”
That’s how you have to feel as a Braves fan right now with Atlanta holding a 4.5 game lead in the NL East with four days left in the regular season.
The Braves just have to win one of their last five games — if the Rockies game is needed on Monday or have the Phillies lose one of their next four games.
It’s certainly not over yet, and as crazy as this season has been I certainly don’t want to put the cart before the horse, but again, I can taste it.
Braves: Maximus Does It Again
Suddenly the Braves have a very strong 1-2 punch atop the starting rotation in Charlie Morton and Max Fried who can go up against any other teams’ top two starters.
Max went 7 innings on Wednesday allowing just 2 runs (1 earned) on 4 hits with 6 strikeouts and no walks.
The win was his 14th of the year and lowered his season ERA to 3.04. There have been a lot of great starters in the National League this year, but I’m interested to see how many votes Fried gets for Cy Young as I think he’ll get quite a few.
He and Max Scherzer have been the two best pitchers in all of baseball in the second half. According to Baseball-Reference, he has a 1.74 ERA in the second half with a 0.872 WHIP and 80 strikeouts in 86 innings across 13 starts.
Braves: Austin Riley should Finish Top 3 in MVP
I know he probably won’t win it because he doesn’t have the advanced metrics of Bryce Harper or Fernando Tatis Jr., but Austin Riley should finish in the top three of voting.
Outside of a poor June, he’s been the team’s best hitter and most consistent hitter all year long.
He got a huge 2 RBI double in the 7th inning of Wednesday’s game to put the game on ice, and hopefully put the Phillies to bed for the season.
On the season, he’s slashing .302/.367/.527 with a .894 OPS, 32 home runs, 89 runs, and 103 RBI.
Again, not numbers that are going to win you an MVP, but he’s certainly been the MVP of the Braves and without him, they wouldn’t be sniffing the postseason right now.
Atlanta will have a chance on Thursday to go ahead and clinch their fourth straight division title if they can sweep the Phillies. Ian Anderson will try to get it done against Kyle Gibson (interesting note, both pitchers will come into that game with a 3.60 ERA).