There isn't much left to say about the Braves postseason chances after Atlanta lost its last two games of a four-game set vs. Florida. Braves fans were thinking sweep after winning the first two games, and why not, after all we had Javier Vazquez and Tommy Hanson queued up and ready to toe the rubber.
Any chance for a sweep came undone in the sixth inning on Wednesday when the Marlins scored five times - and the Braves were undone in the sixth inning again on Thursday, this time surrendering six runs in an 8-3 loss.
Ricky Nolasco got the win for Florida. I'd never have guessed he'd be the guy beating the Braves in a pivotal game after the way he started the season: he was just 2-6 with a 7.62 earned run average during his first 11 starts - plus, the Braves kicked him around pretty good in Atlanta not even two weeks ago. In his past 15 starts, however, Nolasco is now 8-2 with a 3.87 earned run average.
Atlanta is going to need a lot of help the rest of the way.
We did get a little bit last night. Pedro Martinez outpitched Tim Lincecum as the Phillies beat the Giants 2-1, and Pat Misch, who entered last night's Mets vs. Rockies contest with a career record of 0-8, earned his first big league win, 8-3.
Atlanta began its seven-game trip to Philly and FL trailing Colorado by 4.5 games in the Wild Card standings, and despite a 3-4 record on the trip, the Braves come home trailing the Rockies by four games. Only problem, we have seven fewer games to play now, and we lost ground to the Giants who now lead the Braves by three games.
The Braves need help from the Brewers, Diamondbacks, and Nationals this weekend - San Francisco travels to Milwaukee, Colorado hosts Arizona, and Florida visits Washington.
Of course those games will have little meaning to Braves fans if our team can't take care of business at home vs. Cincinnati. After losing our last home series vs. San Diego, and missing two chances to win a road series at FL, I feel fortunate we're not past the point of still caring about the Wild Card. If Atlanta doesn't take care of Cincinnati, however, then we'll probably be there.