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It may be improbable, but it's certainly not impossible. The Braves are now 4 games behind the Mets and 2 games behind the Phillies in the National League, and are 3 games behind the Padres and 2 games behind the Phillies and Rockies for the Wild Card. After winning 9 out of their last 11, the Braves still have a fighting chance...and boy are they fighting!
After jumping to an early 3-0 lead in the first inning last night off a Texiera homerun, the Braves had a rocky few innings. The Phillies scored a run in the bottom on the first, then the Braves tacked on another run in the top of the fourth, only to see the Phillies tie it up 4-4 in the bottom of the fourth after Chuck James fell apart and gave up a walk and two homeruns. But a four-run sixth inning produced by a Francouer double, Andruw single, Diaz single, Escobar double, and Renteria single put the Braves back on top 8-4. The Phillies picked up runs in the fifth and seventh innings to make the game 8-6, so the Braves tacked on two more insurance runs in the ninth off a Renteria single and a Chipper homerun.
Final Score: 10-6
To finish off the series with the Phillies, the Braves will send Tim Hudson and John Smoltz to the mound. Could you ask for any better shot at finishing off the Phillies and moving closer to October? I think not!
The confidence and the spirit out on the field the past few games is like nothing we've seen this season. Maybe that's the problem. If they'd started playing like this a couple of weeks sooner, our October dreams wouldn't be as improbable as they seem. Nonetheless, this is shaping up to be the most exciting last week of the regular season Braves fans have seen in quite some time. I had been gearing up to channel my energy into rooting for the Red Sox (my second love) in October, but now I find myself hoping, wishing, and praying that somehow the Braves pull off the coup of the century. All I can say is GO BRAVES!