I think Chipper Jones summed up last night's victory vs. the Marlins best: "It's a huge win, probably the biggest win of the year, especially sitting back and seeing how the first six innings went. To come back, come off the mat and put up enough runs to win and then some off of [Johnson] is a tremendous boost for us."
A loss and the Braves would have fallen four back in the Wild Card hunt and trailed three teams. Not that the road to the postseason is any easier because of a single win, but last night's victory was like clearing a huge hurdle considering the pitching matchup strongly favored the Marlins. Josh Johnson was outstanding, but Kenshin Kawakami got the job done - and he got the victory.
Now only three games back of the Giants and Rockies, Atlanta's playoff push can get another shot of adrenaline today when Tim Hudson makes his first start in more than a year. If he can deliver a strong outing and the Braves can take the first two games of this series, then we'll definitely get a boost in our postseason spirits.
What we have no control over: tonight Colorado starts a long home-stand against weak opponents, but at least the Giants begin a six-game trip against the Phillies and Brewers.
What we can control: the Braves play the Marlins tonight, and we have to take the one-game-at-a-time approach. Tonight's matchup: Tim Hudson vs. Anibal Sanchez. Hudson's last start was July 23, 2008, and it was also on the road vs. Florida. Sanchez was horrible at home last week against the Mets, but he was brilliant a week and a half ago in Atlanta.
And for tonight's game that means . . . absolutely nothing.
One game at a time. That's how it works. And for the rest of the season, every win will be huge.