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For Braves, it’s been NL Easy

Posted By John Morgo On Jul 21 2012 @ 8:23 pm In Atlanta Braves | No Comments

That title is a bad joke, but it’s not often you get inspiration from a typo. The best thing about is it has a hint of truth. Atlanta started the season with a 9-13 mark against the NL East. Since then, it’s been a perfect 8-0. This includes today’s 4-0 shutout win over Washington. (Game 2 of the day-night doubleheader is later.) In taking the first 2 of the 4-game weekend set, Atlanta moved to 1 1/2 behind the Nationals in the East. It also means Atlanta can do no worse than a split of this critical series and (if they do drop the next two) would leave DC 3 1/2 out, the same mark as when they entered. I really hope that made sense. Atlanta won this game behind Ben Sheets, who threw six and hasn’t given up a run in two starts. Not pitching for over a year does wonders for a person’s arm. And let’s not forget last night classic. Washington got a 9-0 lead after 4 and couldn’t hold it. The Braves came back and won 11-10 in 11 innings. I’ve said before that Washington is a young club. They might not be able to withstand the pressure that comes with a pennant race. The forgotten question of July and August is if they can keep the composure that comes to leading this late in the season. The media will be too focused on Stephen Strasburg’s innings and when the plug might be pulled to ask that one. Couple of other notes. Chipper Jones’ two-run pinch-hit home run broke the record for most RBI’s by a third baseman, surpassing George Brett and Mike Schmidt. (He just passed Jose Canseco on the all-time home run list). I don’t think there’s any doubt that he’s a Hall of Famer. Also, the Braves called up Johnny Venters from Gwinnett (Triple A). He should be with the big league club tonight. They made room on the roster by putting Matt Diaz on the DL with a thumb injury. It’s the same digit he had surgery on two years ago. Also, it looks like the Cubs will trade Ryan Dempster before his next start on Wednesday. I mention this as the Braves are still in the mix. The Dodgers have the inside track, but Chicago doesn’t like what they’re offering, so maybe another squad like Atlanta can swoop in and pilfer him.

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