Sports by the Numbers MLB Blog

Florida lost. Colorado lost. Philly lost. San Francisco lost. And Atlanta won. All I can say is the Braves needed last night in a bad way. After losing two straight to the Padres, the Braves came out swinging Thursday night, 17 total hits, five runs in the second inning, single runs in the third, fourth, sixth, and seventh innings, and all total a desperately needed 9-1 victory.

Javier Vazquez was sharp on the mound: 7 IP, 5 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 6 K. He even picked up an RBI single to get the Braves scoring started in the second.

And where does this leave us?

Well, Philly miraculously lost two of three to the Pirates even as the Braves were losing two of three to the Padres, and the Rockies lost two of three to the Dodgers - which means the Braves standing in relation to the two frontrunners for the division title and the wild card is unchanged from three days ago: 7 back of Philly, 4.5 back of Colorado.

Unfortunately, Atlanta now has three fewer games to catch up. The series vs. San Diego was a missed opportunity to be sure - we lost a game in the standings to Florida and San Francisco, and missed two chances to gain ground on the clubs at the top.

And here's what we have left:

3 @ Philly

4 @ FL

3 vs. Cincinnati

3 @ Houston

3 @ St. Louis

3 vs. NY

3 vs. Philly

3 @ NY

3 @ Washington

3 vs. FL

4 vs. Washington

Only 35 games - but the good news, 26 are against division rivals. Atlanta trails Philly by eight games in the loss column. Philadelphia has 37 games left on its schedule. If Philly goes 19-18 the rest of the way, Atlanta would have to post a 27-8 record in its final 35 contests - but remember we do have six games left head-to-head against the Phillies.

And while the Braves close out the season at home with four games against Washington, Philly closes out its schedule at home with three against Florida.

Yes, I know, it will take a small miracle at this point for the Braves to make the postseason, no question. Atlanta plays 13 of its next 16 games on the road, and the reality is we need to win at least five or six on the seven-game trip that starts at Philly tonight or speculating on everything else is a pointless exercise. And yeah it would be great if we could win all seven.

After that, well, the rest of the schedule is doable: 13 of the Braves final 19 games are against NY or Washington. We have 11 series' left and we need to win them all . . . but since we have to do that one game at a time, how about we start tonight with the rookie on the mound taking down Pedro.

Test your Atlanta Braves IQ.


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