It's hard to believe it's been since 2005 since the Atlanta Braves won the NL East. The streak ended yesterday in Chicago with a shower of champagne and Bud Light in the visitor's clubhouse. Congratulations go out to general manager Frank Wren for constructing a club that is solid from 1-to-25 and could sustain multiple major injuries (Huddy, Venters, O'Flaherty, Heyward, McCann, etc.) and player slumps (BJ and Uggla) and really not skip a beat all season. Also big props go out to manager Fredi Gonzalez. He's kept a loose clubhouse all season and you can see in the players that they love playing for him.
I love seeing the Falcon's game in the clubhouse when they are celebrating.
Now go out and win the homefield this last week. If the Braves are going to make it back to the World Series for the first time in over a decade they have to clinch it over St. Louis and the Dodgers. Currently they are up 1.5 games on the Cards for it. The Braves have the majors best record at home. When they are away from the Ted they are only a .500 team. Winning homefield at the Ted is imperative for a successful postseason.
With just a week left and if Heyward can come back completely healthy this would be my lineup for the playoffs.
1. Heyward - CF
2. Justin Upton - RF
3. Freeman - 1B
4. Chris Johnson - 3B
5. McCann - C
6. Gattis - LF
7. Simmons - SS
8. Elliott Johnson - 2B
I'm going with a 3-man rotation of:
Put Alex Wood and Paul Maholm as the long relievers if needed. No way either one of them should start a playoff game in my opinion. Roll with the 3 Aces and go from there.
Also get Jordan Schafer in there starting if Gattis is scuffling because his defense and speed are the best on the team in the outfield. But there is no way you can start either one of BJ Upton or Dan Uggla. They don't deserve to start and I don't care how much money they make. It's playoff time. You start your best players who have performed.
Now go out and win a World Series!