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The Braves unravel and come undone

Different year, same script as Atlanta drops game one of the NLDS and leaves its fans lying on the floor yet again.

Division Series - Philadelphia Phillies v Atlanta Braves - Game One
Spencer Strider gave the Braves a chance to win by pitching seven innings but a costly throwing error contributed to the Phillies first run of the game.
Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

Well, that sucked.

I guess we all should have seen it coming given the Braves have lost the first game of the NLDS since before your kids were born, before you were born and before your great-great-great-great-grandparents were born.

Atlanta lost 3-0, undone by self-inflicted wounds from the team’s battery and an offense that got BABIP’d in the worst possible way while leaving every duck on the pond for the first time at home all season.

“Maybe the best offense in the history of the game” was shut down by a seemingly endless stream of 99 MPH fastballs throw by, at last count, 14 relievers one of which started this season pitching for his high school’s junior varsity team.

UGH.

Yes, the 2021 team overcame a first game loss to win the World Series. Yes, both the Dodgers and the Orioles also dropped game one of their series after their first-round bye. But, for a fanbase used to this kind of underwhelming showing by the Braves in the postseason, this loss was as frustrating as it was anticipated.

To make matters worse, everyone will have to wait until Monday to see if the Braves get their ish together. It won’t be easy since the Phillies will trot out local native Zack Wheeler and will then turn to Aaron Nola when the series transitions to the city of brotherly love, where hopefully it shouldn’t take long until push comes to shove, to paraphrase Keith Whitley.

The Braves will counter with Max Fried and … somebody.

Look, no one is waving the white flag of defeat just yet. Outside of Bryce Harper’s home run, the Phillies and Braves had similar opportunities and the baseball gods smiled on Philadelphia and didn’t on Atlanta. A catcher’s interference - with no visual proof - driving in a run? Really?

It’s baseball. That happens.

The Braves could make us all feel better by putting up a crooked number in the bottom of the first inning on Monday and not looking back; evening the series and making it a best two-out-of-three series.

The reality is that all of us have last year’s 3-1 NLDS defeat to the Phillies screaming in our heads like one of those awful migraines that just won’t go away.

Today, a full slate of football games or work or church or family time or other coping mechanisms might offer some distraction from the outcome of last night’s game. In the meantime, we will, as Duran Duran sang, “try to stay blind to the hope and fear outside” and try not to come undone.

Regardless, we all must wait another day to see if game one of the NLDS will become a footnote or nonfeasance.

Whatever happens, it ain’t over ‘til it’s over, but leaving Truist Park with the NLDS tied 1-1 would instill a lot more confidence than being one game away from postseason elimination.

It is way too soon in October for the Braves have their fanbase hold a thread and walk away either. All-of-a-sudden it’s cold outside, and we need our sweater (sorry, Weezer).

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