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Atlanta Braves news and links: Braves avoid century of losses

The Braves have been bad this season, but they won't be 100-losses bad! That's cause célèbre, right? Right? Just a few days left, folks.

Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports


Pierzynski slams two homers as Braves edge Nationals 2-1

On Tuesday night, A.J. Pierzynski and Matt Wisler (who have developed quite the positive relationship as of late) combined their powers to help lead the Braves to an exciting 2-1 victory over the Nationals. AJP contributed to the cause by hitting two solo homers, and Matt Wisler kept Washington at bay by going seven innings and only giving up one run throughout. Closer Arodys Vizcaino ran into a little bit of trouble, but the Nationals basically bailed him out with a show of ineptitude in the bunting game, and the Braves were able to clinch a non-100 loss season. Rejoice!

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-partner="tweetdeck"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Braves avoid 100 losses. Let&#39;s go! <a href=""></a></p>&mdash; Talking Chop (@TalkingChop) <a href="">September 30, 2015</a></blockquote>

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Freeman cleared to play, but will still be day-to-day

Freddie Freeman got his wrist examined during Monday's off-day, and the Braves' hand specialist determined that if Freeman feels like he can play, he should. Still, it appears that the Braves are going to have a bit of caution with Freeman going forward -- He started Tuesday and will start today, then have a day of rest, then be available off of the bench for the final two games of the season.

Swisher showing enthusiasm to contribute to Braves

Despite the fact that Nick Swisher is dealing with "creaky knees" as what's been a long season for the 35-year old comes to a close, he's still showed clear enthusiasm to help the Braves in any way he can. This was evidenced by the fact that he was willing to jump into service when Adonis Garcia couldn't play last night, even though it took him a while to "get warmed up."

He’ll be 35 in November and is playing on knees both surgically repaired last year, but Swisher continues to display as much or more energy than anyone else on the Braves roster – or any team’s roster.

"It’s great to have a guy like that," Braves shortstop Andrelton Simmons said, "because sometimes you lose that feeling, you lose that excitement because you’re in the big leagues for a little bit and you get comfortable. But once you see that – he’s excited to play every day. We’ve been out of the playoff race for a while, and still he’s bringing it every day.

Are the Rays and Braves working together for a new Rays stadium in St. Petersburg?

A week after the Braves made the announcement that they are planning to move their Spring Training home to St. Petersburg, both the Rays and MLB decided to officially comment on the matter. While some would think that this would put the Braves and Rays at odds with each other since the Braves are technically encroaching on the Rays' turf, one writer thinks that this could be a plan in which both teams stand to mutually benefit from the situation:

Incidentally, Noah Pransky (Shadow of the Stadium) opined the proposal could mean one of three things, all unique interpretations of the news:

  1. The Rays & MLB are assuming the Rays will be gone from Tampa Bay in a decade or so, thus diminishing any negative impact of a Braves spring training relocation. In fact, it could be positioned as a consolation prize for Pinellas County.
  2. The Rays & MLB want to stay in Tampa Bay, but are using the pressure on Pinellas County’s limited tourist tax bonding capacity to force St. Pete’s hand.  Forced to make a decision about where bed tax revenues would be best-spent, the city could allow the Rays permission to begin negotiating for new stadium sites.
  3. The Rays & MLB want a taxpayer-funded stadium at Toytown and – unable to negotiate with Pinellas County right now – the Rays have coordinated with the Braves, MLB, and developers to orchestrate a bait-and-switch.  The proposed 10,000-seat stadium becomes a 25,000-seat stadium and the Rays move closer to the bay bridges.  The Braves could even share Bright House Networks Field in Clearwater without major expenditures.

Pransky was quick to note that while option three is a longshot, all three theories could mean a considerable bump in leverage for the Rays as they continue to push for a new stadium.

Well, this would be an extremely interesting turn when it comes to both the Braves' Spring Training plans and the Rays' future in the Tampa Bay area, now wouldn't it?


Dodgers clinch NL West title on their rivals' home turf

It's always nice to clinch a divisional title anywhere, and the Dodgers now get to enjoy the pleasure of having three consecutive NL West titles under their belts now. It's even nicer to do it on the home field of their hated rivals, which is what the Dodgers did when they beat the Giants to clinch the division and end San Francisco's season in one fell swoop. Clayton Kershaw took the mound on Tuesday night and did Clayton Kershaw things -- That's to say that he was absolutely dominant. He struck out 13 Giants and only gave up a single and a walk in a complete game shutout. This gif should explain how well things were going for the Dodgers' ace last night.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">STOP IT. <a href=""></a></p>&mdash; MLB GIFS (@MLBGIFs) <a href="">September 30, 2015</a></blockquote>

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Angels take possession of second AL Wild Card spot

Meanwhile on the red side of Los Angeles, the Angels have somehow surged into a playoff spot. Last month, this team was dead in the water because they really couldn't hit to save their lives. Now, it's clear that they've fixed those issues and are now making a serious push for a playoff spot. The AL West has been absolutely crazy down the stretch, and it's probably going to get crazier.

They [the Angels] have another game with Oakland, and then it's a HUGE series against the Rangers, in Texas. The Astros have one more with the Mariners, and then a season finale against the Diamondbacks. Not exactly frightening competition. The Rangers have another with the Tigers, and then the aforementioned series with the Halos.

Hold on to your hats, folks. This is probably going to go down to the final day of the season.

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