Last night, October 4, 2022, the Atlanta Braves won their fifth straight National League East Division title in a 2-1 victory against the Miami Marlins. Being the World Series Champions last year, the Braves had a lot to prove this year, and they have definitely done that to this point.
The season started off slow once again for the Braves, and they hung right around .500 for a long time. But then, on June first, things turned around, and Atlanta hasn’t looked back since. Coming into the month of June, the Braves were 10.5 games out of first place. And starting the month of August, they were 7.0 games out of first. Then, from late August all the way through to where they are now, the Atlanta Braves got HOT. The Braves’ starting rotation was becoming secure and strong, the bullpen was reliable, and the offense was scoring runs consistently and often. All of that made the Met’s 10.5 game lead in the Division a thing of the past — and the Braves just kept pouring it on.
Yes, this title didn’t come easy for the Braves, but that’s what makes it so awesome. The New York Mets put up a good fight this year, staying in first place for almost all of the season. However, when it came down to the games that mattered the most, the Atlanta Braves always found a way to win. That proved crucial in their last home series of the season against the Mets over the weekend when the Braves swept the Mets; taking not only a 2.0 game lead in this Division, but also a winning record of head-to-head games against the Mets.
The Division is won, but now it’s time for some Postseason baseball! The Wild Card games start Friday, October 7th, and the NLDS will begin Tuesday October 11th. Since the Braves won the Division and won’t have to play in the Wild Card Series, this gives them a week’s worth of rest. This also gives Spencer Strider a week longer to heal so he can come back and pitch for Atlanta in the NLDS, and it gives Ozzie Albies an extra week to continue to heal from a fractured finger so he can make a potential return during the Postseason.
The Braves need to work on not leaving so many men on base, playing some small ball to go with their home run game, and honing in on starting pitchers making it through 5+ innings.
This is a very exciting time for the Atlanta Braves and all of Braves Country…but the battle isn’t over yet. If anything, it’s just getting started. Yet we can still shout: THE EAST IS OURS!