This is it, Braves fans. It’s do, or die time.
The road paved by young superstars and years of rebuilding ends today or splits off west to Los Angeles. The back-to-back Braves proved everybody wrong winning the East. Now, it’s time to kick that M*****F****** door down.
It’s now or never; win or go home. It’s all on the line.
It’s Game 5 of the NLDS.
This is one of the best Braves’ teams since 2001, where they swept the Houston Astros in the NLDS, only to be cut down by the eventual World Series champion Arizona Diamondbacks. Since that fateful fall, the Braves haven’t won a single playoff series, despite eight division titles.
Needless to say, Atlanta needs this win, and not just the baseball fans – the entire city.
The biggest game of 2019 for the Braves starts at 5:02 ET. Are you ready? I know I am. Let’s take a look at the pitching splits for the deciding Game 5.
Mike Foltynewicz: 1-0, 0.00 NLDS ERA
With the stakes as high as they are, it’s smart to turn to a proven arm on the hill to shut down the apparent doubles factory that is the St. Louis Cardinals.
And what better person to throw out there than one of the most dominant pitchers for Atlanta in the second half, Mike Foltynewicz.
Playoff starts with 7+ shutout innings and 0 walks in Atlanta Braves history:
— Zach Dillard (@Zach_Dillard) October 4, 2019
Getting compared to these two legendary names isn’t something to gloss over. It shows the baseball world that Folty’s early-season blunders are a thing of the past.
The numbers speak for themselves. Foltynewicz’s performance in Friday’s Game 2 was, by all means, lights out. Folty held the Cardinals to only three hits over seven innings with seven K’s and not a single walk or plated run allowed.
If he can stay on the same level that we’ve seen since August 6th, then the NLDS is in the bag, and we’re headed to sunny LA.
Jack Flaherty: 0-1, 3.86 Postseason ERA
The only thing standing in our way? Some 23-year-old kid from Burbank.
Now, I will say; he’s pretty damn remarkable – not your average youngster.
Flaherty emerged as a force to be reckoned with in the NL Central, posting a 2.75 ERA with an 11-8 record, striking out 231 with a league-best .968 WHIP. And that ERA is severely inflated from the first half of the season. Since the All-Star break, Flaherty had a ridiculous 0.91 ERA in 15 starts.
He’s not just good; he’s been the best pitcher in baseball.
But, he’s not impossible.
The Braves outlasted the Cardinals in Friday’s pitcher’s duel, with Flaherty’s good day coming to an end in the form of a 2-run shot by Adam Duvall.
ADAM DUVALL PINCH-HIT JACK pic.twitter.com/MurHx1XBpR
— Starting 9 (@Starting9) October 4, 2019
It’s so beautiful…
Anyway, we got to Flaherty once. We can DEFINITELY get to him again.
The key to a trip to the NLCS? make him work early; pitching wins pennants, after all, and if we want to keep these birds out of LA, we’ve got to be smart in our approach towards Flaherty and rack up his pitch count.
Time to shine, Braves country…
We’ve got an entire region of the United States, a wonderfully passionate southern metropolis, and a five-time Master’s Tournament winning golfer behind us.
— SportsTalkATL.com (@SportsTalkATL) October 8, 2019
That smile is haunting… but it’s beautiful.
It’s all on the table now. 5:02 is our official time to shine. We’ve scrapped since day 1, knocked teams down 99 different times that stood in our way, and proved every single “expert” wrong when they counted us out. Now, it’s our time to do it once more.
We. Are. RELENTLESS.
Enjoy the game. I’ll see everybody in Los Angeles.