Braves Magic Number to win NL East: 11

The Braves magic number to win the division is down to 11. Shall we never forget opening night of Truist Park where Ender Inciarte stole the show. 

Atlanta Braves v New York Mets
Atlanta Braves v New York Mets / Jim McIsaac/GettyImages

The Braves dropped the series opener last night to the St. Louis Cardinals as their late innings comeback fell short. However, there was good news to come from Tuesday night. The Padres beat up on the Phillies. A Philadelphia loss dropped the Braves magic number to win the division to 11. 

Atlanta plays their home games in the second newest stadium in the MLB. On April 14, 2017 the first regular season game was played at Truist Park (known as SunTrust Park at the time). The number 11 represents the starting center fielder that night, Ender Inciarte, who stole the show. 

If there is ever a trivia question asking who was the first to do something in the Braves new stadium, Ender Inciarte is a safe guess. 

Inciarte recorded the first out of the ballgame on a lazy fly ball. In the bottom half of the inning, he collected the first hit and scored the first run thanks to Nick Markakis. Later in the evening, Inciarte also blasted the first homerun in the new facility. As if that wasn’t enough, the last out of the ballgame was a fly ball to Inciarte, the perfect ending to a 5-2 win over the Padres. 

Inciarte was a consistent presence for the Braves from 2016-2021. In 2016 and 2017, Inciarte could be viewed as the bridge that Atlanta crossed over to complete the rebuild. 

During those tough seasons, Inciarte was a bright spot for Atlanta and a great role model for the up and coming players. With starting his MLB career in 2014, Inciarte was young enough to play full throttle but experienced enough to know what it takes to be successful at the highest level. 

He even earned an all-star bid in 2017. In his time with Atlanta, Inciarte was presented with three Gold Glove Awards. He had several great catches with the Braves but none greater than “Game Ender” on the road against the New York Mets. 

The Cardinals most certainly won’t back down this series, regardless of their record. The Braves will still have to bring their A-game to bring their magic number down on Wednesday. If Atlanta can take care of business and the Padres beat the Phillies, the Braves could have their magic number drop to single digits and see their sixth straight NL East title in their near future.