Atlanta Braves Top 10 Managers in History:: Number 9 Joe Torre
Atlanta Braves’ fast start
Torre had the Atlanta Braves fired up to start the year. They came out of the gate with 13 consecutive wins afterClaudell Washington’s
two-out, two-run walk-off single to beat the Reds and take a four-game lead in the NL West.
Reality returned with a five-game losing streak that ended with a tenth-inning walk-off win after Bucs shortstop Dale Berra couldn’t handle a ball off the bat of pinch-hitter Bob Watson.
The Braves ended April with a 16-5 record and a two-game lead in the West.
After ending May with a four-game losing streak, Atlanta caught fire again starting June by winning 12 of the first 15, and went on to post an 18-9 June, but were only three games ahead in the West.
A fight to the finish
The Atlanta Braves ended June by winning two in a row from Houston and won the first four games in July to go 4.5 games up in the division. On July 29, they beat the Padres in Atlanta to stretch their lead to nine games, their biggest lead of the season.
The Braves’ lead quickly vanished as they lost 19 of their next 21 and dropped four games back in second place. They bounced back on August 19, beating the Expos 5-4, then they:
- swept the Mets in three straight,
- took two of three from the Phillies,
- went to Shea Stadium, swept the Mets again, and
- took three of four in Philadelphia.
That run moved the Braves into a 2.5 game lead, but once again, it didn’t last.
Thank you San Francisco
The Atlanta Braves went 9-4 and dropped to second, and on September 17, sat 3.5 behind the Dodgers. Fortunately for the Braves, the Dodgers’ sworn enemy stepped up. Over the next 15 games, the Giants won:
- Six against the Dodgers,
- Two against the Astros,
- and two against the Reds, but
- lost two games to Atlanta
The Braves won the West by a game over the Dodgers and two games over the Giants.
Glen Hubbard told the Miami Herald that Torre never let heads drop.
"“Even during our losing streak, he could have come out and blasted us, but he didn’t. Nobody was breaking any bats or helmets. He just helped keep us confident, and we came back.”"
The Atlanta Braves returned to the NLCS for the first time since 1969, but like the Mets in ’69, the Cardinals swept a tired Braves team and went on to win the World Series.