It's hard to do, you know. Pulling for your biggest rivals. And yet that's exactly what the Braves will be doing tonight as Atlanta looks to take its third straight from Florida.
Tim Hudson was great on Tuesday, pitching into the sixth inning and earning the 4-3 win in his first start since undergoing Tommy John surgery last year. Bobby Cox said, "For his first outing, in starting three hours late, hanging out here all day, wondering when the first pitch was going to be about ten different times, I thought he did great."
Colorado also won last night, beating the Mets 8-3, but San Francisco lost 1-0 to the Phillies. Atlanta is now two back of the Giants, but remains three back of the Rockies in the Wild Card chase. And that puts the Braves in an unusual position - it's time to cheer on two of our fiercest rivals: the Mets and Phillies.
Okay, so maybe cheer is too strong a word. The point, however, is that at least for today and Thursday we need Philly to beat San Francisco and we need NY to beat Colorado. So we need to put aside our normal feelings about those two division rivals, and as the Braves take the field tonight vs. Florida, at least wish Philly and NY good luck because if those guys win tonight the team it helps the most will be Atlanta.
Atlanta, Florida, San Francisco, and Colorado all have 30 games left on the schedule - the Giants and Rockies go head-to-head three more times, as do the Braves and Marlins after this current series wraps up on Thursday, but we don't get any more shots head-to-head against the Giants or Rockies.
So for tonight and tomorrow at least, this Braves fan is rooting for Philly and NY.