Through the first two games of the series, the Phillies have officially outclassed the Braves. Granted, they faced two rookie pitchers and were aided by some Braves' mistakes, but the Phils have clearly showed why they are the defending National League Champions.
As we wrote yesterday, the Phillies elevate their game to another level down the stretch and the Braves are finding that out first hand. Check out the first few paragraphs from this Atlanta Constitution Journal article:
They’re not going to win the East. That fading dream was all but extinguished Tuesday night. They’re five games behind a demonstrably better team with 10 to go, which is another way of saying: Not happening.
But what the Braves cannot do is allow that five-game deficit to obscure the greater goal. They still lead the wild-card race. They’re still positioned to make the playoffs. To do it, however, they must not leave their heart in Philadelphia.
This was a big series for these Braves, and over the first two games they’ve been overmatched. They started two rookies against two classy veterans and paid the price. They flubbed most of the chances they created. They haven’t looked like a playoff team here, but they still can be one. They just have to remember how to play baseball.
Yeah, welcome to fall ball in Philly.
There’s no shame in not being as good as the Phillies: Nobody else in the National League has been as good as these Phils for a while now. The shame would be in having what still can be a sweet season ruined by one dud series. The Braves need to win behind Tommy Hanson on Wednesday to prove to themselves they’re still capable of winning.
Good luck with that.