This feels like the calm before the storm.
Other than some brief and fairly innocuous interviews with guys like Brian Snitker and Will Smith, it was a pretty quiet day in Braves country as the team did workouts to keep guys loose, but still take it easy enough to take advantage of the extra off day after their convincing playoff series victory over the Reds and prepare for their matchup with the surprising Miami Marlins in the NLDS.
However, this is going to be no normal playoff appearance as the specter of COVID-19 still hangs over the sports world. Instead of hosting playoff games and having home field advantage as would be the case in normal years, the Braves will be heading to Houston on Sunday to get settled into the National League playoff bubble. The Braves will have Monday to do their media appearances and prepare before taking on the Marlins starting on Tuesday.
So far, it appears that the Braves are pretty heavily favored in the series and that makes us very nervous.
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Playoff time means that we are particularly busy on the podcast front. In fact, Scott, Brad, and Eric are going to be recording an NLDS preview full of excitement and angst Sunday evening. However, to get the instant reaction to the Braves getting out of the first round, give this episode a listen and make sure to subscribe to the podcast on your preferred podcast provider.
Rookie eligibility is always a weird topic because when a guy debuts doesn’t necessarily determine when he could be eligible for end of year hardware. That said, we are going to be witnessing a 2021 Rookie of the Year frontrunner in all likelihood take the mound against the Marlins in Ian Anderson and we could see another candidate, Cristian Pache, assuming he keeps a spot on the playoff roster. Matt Powers went through a lot, but no....not all, of the possible candidates
The Braves’ shortcomings in the playoffs in previous years are not news. Just last year, the image of the Cardinals exploding in Game 5 is burned into all of our brains. However, it looks like this Braves team is turning that narrative around and found a way, despite some real obstacles, to get the job done in the playoffs finally.
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Power rankings are pretty useless in the playoffs since things like depth and specific matchups matter a lot more and variance can manifest itself in real ways in small samples, but people keep making them so we will point this one out. The Braves came in at number 5 on this list, which is weird since every MLB.com writer picked the Reds over the Braves last week.
We highlighted this story yesterday, but a play of Bob Gibson’s stature deserves to be honored over multiple days. The guy changed the rules of the game, put up video game numbers, and may have been the most intimidating pitcher to ever take the mound. A legend among legends passed away after a battle with cancer at the age of 84.