Braves aim to break the narrative at Truist Park this weekend

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It’s a bit weird, isn’t it? The Braves are an 88-win team facing the 106-win and heavily favored Dodgers. Atlanta is up 3-2 in the series, heading home, needing just one win to clinch their first World Series berth since 1999. Yet, it feels like all the pressure is on the Braves. On the surface, that makes absolutely no sense, but that’s because you are overlooking the obvious — this is Atlanta.

There’s no reason to beat around the bush. When it comes to sports, Atlanta is rightfully referred to as choke city. We don’t have to deny it. I was there when the Falcons blew a 28-3 lead. I was there when Georgia blew a double-digit lead in Mercedes-Benz Stadium to the Alabama Crimson Tide. I was there time and time again during the Braves playoff runs in the 90s that ultimately ended in defeat. And I chewed my fingernails to nubs as I watched the Braves blow a 3-1 lead in the NLCS to this same Dodgers team last year. Outside of that one memorable run in 1995, this city has been tormented when it comes to its sports teams, and it would be foolish not to acknowledge it.

It’s impossible for the memories of last year’s devastating defeat in the NLCS not to be in the back of the minds of these players. Whether they want to admit it or not, it’s there; however, there is absolutely nothing they can do about the past. All they can focus on is changing the narrative once and for all, which Freddie Freeman acknowledged after the Braves Game 5 loss in Los Angeles.

Perhaps the fan in me just wants to believe it, but there’s something different about this group. They’ve been through everything. From Marcell Ozuna‘s arrest, to the season-ending injuries of Ronald Acuña and Mike Soroka, and the laundry list of other unfortunate events this team has had to endure; every time they seem dead to rights, they deliver a performance for the ages.

Despite all the blown leads and ghosts that haunt this city’s sports franchises, the reality of the situation is the Braves are in a perfect position. They couldn’t have imagined it any better coming into the series. They are up three games to two, needing just one win at home to clinch a World Series berth, and they have two of their best pitchers lined up to finish the job. This series was never going to be a cake walk. Beating Goliath was always going to take a fight. The Braves have overcome every obstacle thrown at them this season. Now, to get to the World Series, they have to overcome one final boss — their own demons.

Thanks for reading about how the Braves aim to break the narrative this weekend against the Dodgers. If you liked this article, make sure to check out another recent piece from Chase regarding the trade acquisitions the Braves need to keep this offseason. 

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