Braves: Philadelphia media personality declares the NL East is over

Braves Marcell Ozuna

“The NL East is over!” Sal Licata declared on May 31, 2022, on SNY’s Baseball Night in New York to proclaim that the Mets would win the division. At the time, New York was 34-17, holding a 10.5-game lead over the then 23-27 Braves.

Atlanta eventually clawed back and won their fifth-straight division title by sweeping their rivals at Truist Park. Licata’s career has actually taken off since the declaration, and there’s another media personality trying to follow his lead.

On Wednesday, the Braves lost to the Red Sox in shutout fashion, ending the fifth-longest streak in MLB history of scoring at least one run, a streak that lasted more than a year. The Phillies won and extended their NL East lead to 8.0 games, leading Joe Giglio to declare that the divisional race is over.

“The Phillies are not just 25 games over .500. They’re eight games up in the NL East over the Atlanta Braves,” Giglio said. “The Braves came in here and won the first two games of the season…since then, the Phillies have been 10 games better than the Braves for the better part of two months. This thing hasn’t been close.

“I understand the date…but this division is over. It’s over. The Phillies have won the National League East.”

At the time of this writing, the division lead has been cut to 7.5 games, but Braves fans know all too well what kind of tear this club is capable of going on. It’s actually a great ploy by Giglio, taking a page out of Sal Licata’s book. Prior to declaring the NL East to be over in 2022, Licata was doing twilight hours radio. Now, he’s one of the faces of New York sports.

Obviously, for that to happen, the Braves played some incredible baseball down the stretch. The club currently sits 10 games over .500 through 60 games without even a speck of consistent offense.

If the bats come around, it’s entirely possible for Atlanta to chase down Philadelphia. Granted, the Phillies are playing better ball than anyone right now, so if the Braves want any chance of winning a seventh-straight NL East title, they’ll have to figure it out quickly before the deficit is too great to overcome.

Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire

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