Words like "historic," "epic," "colossal" are being used to describe the Braves' September. Unfortunately "failure" normally follows those words.
Just a couple weeks ago Georgia's beloved Bravos were eight and a half games ahead in the National League wildcard race. We couldn't touch the Phillies. But the boys from Atlanta appeared to be shoo-ins for the playoffs.
The 9-18 record in the month's 27 games sealed their ignoble fate. And it climaxed this week with the 0-3 series against the Phillies.
The Cardinals, who captured the wildcard, swept a mid-month, three-game series with the Braves. We couldn't even take the last series against the division's bottom-dwelling Marlins.
A lot of people are blaming the fall on pitching, specifically injuries among veterans and a spate of doldrums among those who were not injured. The youngsters brought in just didn't have the experience to carry the day, those critics say.
While our pitching woes contributed to the swan song, it wasn't the biggest factor. Offense was. Pitching can't win a game, only offense can.
There is solace from the season. The Braves were one of only two teams in the National League's Eastern Division to finish above .500 and our record was only one game worse than the Cardinals'. And the youngsters who were sent to the mound during the past month did show a lot of potential.
So, wait until next year.
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