For Braves fans, Wednesday’s 9-6 loss to the Mariners — in which a one-run lead became a deficit in the blink of an eye -- might serve as one of the final straws that breaks the camel’s back, and allows fans to throw in the towel for good on the season, as least as far as hoping for a playoff berth was concerned.
Granted, most fans were already there before last night, ready to see the team bring up some more youngsters to allow them to try their hand. But last night was a tough one to take, and Brian Snitker’s postgame demeanor showed that.
With just over a month remaining in the season, what should the Braves do now?
They can hold serve, and play out the string largely with the guys that they have. This would allow the team to remain competitive most nights and win several more games before the season concludes.
The Braves could also go completely in the opposite direction, and decide that veteran players that won’t factor into next year’s plans can be shuffled out of the regular lineup and pitching staff in favor of as many young guys as they can stand. It might be tempting to throw a few more youngsters into the fire, especially in September after the rosters expand, but the likelihood of the team winning many games in that situation is low.
There is a middle ground, to be sure, which seems the most likely route. Guys like Max Fried and now AJ Minter have been brought up to get a taste of the big leagues, being put into low-leverage situations on a team on the brink of statistical elimination from the postseason. Ozzie Albies and Lucas Sims are other players that have already been brought up to show what they’ve got.
The Braves aren’t making the postseason without one of the greatest turnarounds this game has ever seen (and collapse from a few teams ahead), but there are still reasons to turn on the TV and watch the games.
What do you guys most want to see in the season’s final five weeks?