For a while, it seemed like this was going to be a rare night of September jubilation for the Braves. Ender Inciarte capped off a great season by picking up his 200th hit of the year, and the Braves had a lead for the vast majority of the game. Unfortunately, six good innings from R.A. Dickey went to waste, and the Braves turned a 3-0 lead into a 4-3 walk-off defeat at the hands of the Mets.
Meanwhile, the rumors surrounding Brian Snitker and his future in the Braves organization continue to swirl, though things have gotten a bit more positive for Snitker on that front. He’s been receiving more and more support from the players, and Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic is reporting that we could possibly see guys like Eddie Perez and Terry Pendleton leave the dugout before Snitker does.
You could consider this season to be a bridge season of sorts. Now, 2018 appears to be extremely important when it comes to the overall Braves rebuild since some of the prospects that we’ve all been following will be making their way to the bigs and it’ll be time to see if they can cut it at this level. It’ll be a crucial year for those guys, and Matt makes the point that it’ll be a crucial year for the GM as well.
One of two things will happen after next season. The Braves will have made progress, meaning we had nothing to worry about. That means John Coppolella and the front office are safely in place to continue the long-term rebuilding project that they began when they took over.
Or not. The other option is that the general manager’s seat could start to get a little warm. That’s scary to fans for two reasons. The first is that it could lead to moves being made as short term fixes to try to save a job. That pretty much speaks for itself. The second reason is because it’s ideal for Coppolella to finish the rebuilding process himself.
One of the rookies who will be given every opportunity to show that he belongs at this level will be Luiz Gohara. He’s off to a great start so far, and he’s earned plaudits from plenty of people in Atlanta’s clubhouse. Nubyjas Wilborn of the Marietta Daily Journal had more on the subject:
“He’s special,” [Ozzie] Albies said of Gohara. “I’m glad he’s on my team and I don’t have to face him. He is so serious and always ready to compete. It’s so interesting seeing how he turns on the switch. He becomes so intense during the game. Soon as we get back to the dugout, he’s smiling and laughing. He takes the game very serious, but he knows how to enjoy life. He’s a competitor.”
Meanwhile, the Twins have pulled away from the mediocre pack in the AL Wild Card race and are probably going to lock down the final Wild Card spot there. All of a sudden, the NL Wild Card has gotten tight as the Rockies have slid and the Brewers have stayed alive. The crew at Purple Row actually took the time to work out all of the possible outcomes, so if you want to see what could possibly happen then this is definitely the post for you.