To say that the Atlanta Braves are having a bad season is a bit of an understatement. In fact, they were only one loss away from being out completely, on Sunday. But thanks to a fence-clearing hit from Ronald Acuna Jr., the Braves lived to see another day. This has made Acuna the youngest player to hit a grand slam in the postseason. What’s great about this story is that despite being one loss away from elimination, fans packed SunTrust Park for the game – cheering loudly on their team and giving the whole scene a sense of electricity that you can only get from the postseason.
During the second inning, Walker Buehler walked Nick Markakis, and then picked up two quick strikeouts. That’s when things began to turn. Ozzie Albies hit a single to center and Charlie Culberson was then intentionally walked- bringing up pitcher Sean Newcomb with the bases loaded. He walked again, giving Atlanta a 1-0 leader.
In sports, I often wonder if there’s more luck than we want to believe? We see this happen with a lot of teams who aren’t doing so well, and they make some kind of incredible comeback. Or teams who aren’t ranked high in their division, only to find themselves in a make it or break it kind of situation. Which is what we saw with Atlanta.
Buehler, who was experiencing some of the most intense pressure that he’s seen in his young career, nearly walked Ronald Acuna Jr. The bases were loaded, and Acuna served up a grand slam. This brought the crowd to their feet and SunTrust was alive.
The big question is whether or not the Braves can do this again? The short answer is not this season – so, no. But there might be a longer answer. If you watched the game Monday night, you will know that the Dodgers won 6-2. Which means the Braves are out this season. That said, many see this as a mere beginning for the Braves heading into the 2019 season.
The fact that they didn’t win isn’t cause to be ashamed. But rather, this gives the team an idea of who they are, or what they can be next season. As I said earlier – is it more about luck or skill? In any sport, there are different ingredients that go into it. Sometimes there is a bit of luck. Sometimes it has a lot to do with the team. Different people gel differently, which can make things better. If players don’t get along, you end up with infighting, which ultimately hurts the team.
It’s hard to know what really drives a team. Given their loss record, it’s incredible that the Braves made it this far. But we’re seeing these kinds of wins in other sports – like football – more specifically the Buffalo Bills. What we saw from the Braves this season is that they’re not ready to be serious World Series contenders, but that could change real quick depending on what changes are made during the off-season.