The Braves continue to find new and interesting ways to lose as they continue their race to the "top" of the MLB Draft table. This time, Atlanta was trailing the Mets in the late stages of this contest before mounting a rally to take a 7-4 lead going into the 9th inning. That three-run lead eventually turned into a three-run deficit by the bottom of the 10th inning. The Braves were one out away from victory in the 9th before a double, a walk, and a three-run homer tied things up. The bullpen continued to collapse in extras, and the game eventually ended 10-7 in favor of the Mets. Lord have mercy.
Sunday's loss not only put the Braves in a tie with the Phillies for pole position in next year's draft, but it was also a pretty historical loss as well. The Braves have now lost twelve straight home games, which is the worst home losing streak since 1914. If you have to go all the way back to the Boston days of the franchise, it's either very good or very bad news. Clearly, it's the latter at this point.
The Braves' postseason hopes officially died last week, and ever since then, we've had a few outlets release their recaps for what's been a woeful 2015 campaign for our favorite baseball team. CBS isn't exactly convinced that the Braves are on the right path, and Yahoo is wondering if Fredi Gonzalez is the right man to lead the team in the clubhouse.
Angle for contention or carry forward with the rebuild? The presence of two wild cards in each league of course lowers the bar for contention and makes a near-term mentality more alluring. Survey the Braves roster, and it's hard to see a consequential team in 2016. Needless to say, it would take an active winter by the front office, both in terms of flipping part of the newly-improved base of young talent and making some targeted free agent signings. Bet on the Braves holding course for now. Elsewhere, does John Hart continue making the baseball decisions alone, or does coveted assistant John Coppolella make his way to the GM chair? If not, does Coppolella get hired to fill a GM vacancy elsewhere?
What are the Braves going to do about manager Fredi Gonzalez? He's was "on the hot seat" all season, until he got an extension. Since then, he's reportedly lost the clubhouse. The Braves themselves seem to have punted this season and next in hopes of a great return in 2017 when their new stadium opens. So do they stick with Gonzalez in the interim and hire someone new in 2017? Or bounce him out now? The market of available managers might help dictate that one.
So, Atlanta's probably going to be in the market for a catcher this offseason. While Johnathan Lucroy's been mentioned as a potential target, another catcher who's apparently popped up as a target for the Braves is current Orioles catcher Matt Wieters. The report came from Ken Rosenthal, who figured that the Braves could have the inside track on Wieters since he lives in the area and also went to Georgia Tech. Wieters will be 30 next season, and he's currently hitting .259/.301/.405 with 6 HRs and 90 wRC+, and he's been worth 0.5 fWAR this season.
The Houston Astros continued to keep their stranglehold on the AL West lead, and did so by pulling off one heck of a comeback against the Los Angeles Angels. Houston was down by three in the top of the ninth, and then proceeded to pull off a furious rally in that frame. The Astros pulled to within one run of the Angels with just one out left to play with, and that's when Jed Lowrie hit a three-run shot to put the Astros in front for good. The stunning victory kept the Astros one-and-a-half games ahead of the Rangers for the AL West lead.
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In case you may have missed it this weekend, the Orioles and Royals played a pretty contentious series (though that seems to be the case with the Royals as of late. They know how to get chippy). NFL writer Jason La Canfora is a Baltimore native and Orioles fan, and he decided that it was time to absolutely unload on the Royals with barrel-fire hot takes. Seriously, those takes were about as scorching as anything you'll hear about the Giants and Cowboys on First Take this morning.