An absolutely dreamy regular season concluded anti-climactically 8 days after the National League East champions were crowned. We may suffer from a bit of Impostor Syndrome when we assess our playoff chances, so please take some time to stop and enjoy this Division Championship before diving into the playoff turmoil. It represents 162 games, 6 months, 26 (well, for us, 25) weeks of highs, lows, struggles, and achievements, and is an unexpected present we can savor forever.
Any hopes the Braves had of sneaking into the 2nd seed and home field advantage in the first round dried up pretty quickly, as the Dodgers and Rockies both jumped out to huge leads early, ultimately bumping the Braves to the 3rd seed. The Rockies play a tie-breaker in Los Angeles at 4:00 p.m. Eastern on Monday to settle who will play the Braves, and who will be a wildcard.
While the presumptive playoff lineup started the game, it quickly devolved into a playoff tune-up, presumably because of the scoreboard watching. Cesar Hernandez homered off Kevin Gausman leading off the first, and Gausman allowed all 3 of the runs on 5 hits and 3 walks, in his 5 innings. Neither Freddie Freeman nor Nick Markakis were able to add to their hit totals amongst the 4 hits the Braves managed off of 8 Phillies pitchers, but still managed to finish first and second in the National League in hits, with 191 and 185 respectively. Sadly, Nick dropped below the .300 mark in batting average the last week, finishing at .297. Freddie finished at .309.
The Braves drop 2 out of 3 in the final series, and finish 90 – 72.