Braves NLDS Recap

Katherine Futch

The Atlanta Braves’ season came to a close Oct. 11. They held a 101 – 61 record for the regular season and went 55-26 at home and 46-35 on the road. Despite their impressive season, they did not continue to the World Series after losing three of four games in the NL Divisional Series to the Philadelphia Phillies. 

The Phillies left America shocked after defeating the reigning World Series Champions in just four games. Despite having the upperhand on the regular season, the Braves played uncharacteristically flat in the NLDS. The final game, as well as the entirety of the NLDS, was anything but climactic. The Braves only led the Phillies in four of the 36 innings in the series.

Most people picked the Braves to take the trophy in the NLDS. There is no doubt that they had the talent to take down the Phillies after their incredible season. Instead of the competitive series most were expecting, the Braves fell into the rut of their 1999 season, where they won 100 games, but did not make it to the World Series. Only one of the nine Braves teams to win 100 games has made it through the NLDS. 

The Braves were predicted to beat the Phillies after winning 11 of the 19 regular season games against them, five of which were in September. 

“You don’t take anything for granted,” catcher Travis d’Arnaud said in an interview with MLB reporter Mark Bowman. “You can win and you can lose to any team. That’s the beauty of this sport. At this point, it’s not who is the better team, it’s about who is the hotter team, and [the Phillies] were hot this series.”

The Braves downfall cannot be attributed to a single event. The Braves did not score after loading the bases in both the first and third innings of Game 1 on Tuesday afternoon. 

Perhaps the only highlight of the NDLS for the Braves was Pitcher Kyle Wright in Game 2. 

All odds were against the Braves. Pitch Spencer Strider tweaked his left oblique muscle on Sept. 18, leaving him not up to par with his usual performance. In Game 3, he was sharp, but began rapidly declining after the second inning. Likewise, Pitcher Max Fried’s energy was depleted due to a respiratory virus. Tragedy struck again when Pitcher Charlie Morton was struck above the right elbow by Alec Bohm’s single traveling 71.9 mph to lead off the inning of Game 4. After struggling to get through the rest of the inning, he was lifted and all x-rays came back negative. He will return to the Braves next season. 

“I don’t think it’s hard because of how good we were or how far we came,” Morton said in an interview with MLB reporter Mark Bowman. “It’s more about the guys in the room. It’s tough to look them in the face, guys that you might not see next year, guys that you might never play with again. That’s the truly hard thing.”