The season’s over for the Braves. For the first time in fifteen years, they won’t be making it to the post season. They finish up with a 79-83 record. As bad as it sounds, almost half of those defeats came in one-run games, so they very well could have had a winning record if they had managed to come back in the late innings. Several players still had a very good year, with Andruw Jones hitting 41 home runs and 129 RBI, Brian McCann having a .333 batting average with 24 home runs, Matt Diaz batting .327, Chipper Jones hitting .324 with 26 homers and John Smoltz winning 16 games with a 3.29 ERA. But Bob Wickman was perhaps the best news, cruising with a 1.04 ERA and 18 saves in 19 chances.
Next year could come together much better, because not much needs to change. Starting pitching should be more reliable, and the offense will hopefully prove a bit more consistent as well. Perhaps injuries won’t be as prevalent. But all the elements are there, and if the Mets fold after not winning the World Series this year, a new streak might not be too far in the future for the Atlanta Braves.