Foltynewicz leads Braves to second straight NL East title

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I don’t know about you, but this one feels a bit sweeter than last year’s.

Let’s flashback to early March. Spring training has ended, opening day is a few short days away, and the Braves are about to start their campaign.

As often happens, all the experts, major publications, and fans cast their predictions for this year’s playoffs. We saw many different outcomes spread out by the best analysts in the world.

Every SINGLE one of them counted us out – every single one. Not a soul picked the reigning NL East champions even to secure a Wild Card spot.

I guess the best of the best can be wrong sometimes, too. And it couldn’t have happened in a better fashion. The enigmatic Mike Foltynewicz coming full circle and shutting out the Giants after being cast away from the team two months ago. That’s a storybook ending.

Their doubters fueled what was one of the best single-season runs the Braves have seen since their 14-year stretch from the ’90s to mid-’00s. The Braves didn’t need to prove themselves, though. They did what they knew best; win.

Started from the Bottom

With today’s win over the Giants, Atlanta finds themselves back in the National League Division Series.

I love the tale of the underdog. Defying all odds and coming out on top makes for a tremendous story every single time.

Are the Braves an underdog, though? Perhaps. I wouldn’t say so. Underdog implies we were the lesser team.

I’d say we were overshadowed. Misunderstood, counted out from day one, doubted.

Honestly? I’m glad we were. That doubt only made the Braves more confident. Hungry for vengeance. Ready to prove the world wrong; not because they wanted to show up anybody, but because they knew they could.

And they did. Easily.

What’s Next

The Braves have seven games left to play in the regular season as they await their next go-round in the NLDS.  Two more against the Giants, two against the Royals and the final three against the Mets.

Postseason play will begin on October 3rd, and it is looking more-and-more likely they will be facing the Cardinals, who are taking control of the NL Central. The Cubs and Brewers still have an outside chance to win that division, however. Tune in to SportsTalkATL for all the action and continued coverage of the Braves during the remainder of the regular season and into the postseason.

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