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Atlanta Braves: Their Recent History

By Edited Nov 13, 2013 0 0

The Atlanta Braves were mainstays in the National League playoffs throughout the 1990s and into the 2000s. In fact, in the 15 years between 1991 and 2005, the Braves made the playoffs 14 times, and the only season in which they didn’t was cut short by the players’ strike in 1994.

The team has demonstrated resurgence in the past five years, including a playoff appearance in 2010. The team appeared to be set for another playoff appearance in 2011, but the Braves went 9-18 during the month of September and wound up losing the Wild Card position to the St. Louis Cardinals.

The Braves’ current manager is Fredi Gonzalez, who replaced long-time manager Bobby Cox after the 2010 season.


Atlanta Braves Jersey

2007

Second-Half Struggles Hurt Team’s Playoff Chances

Record: 84-78
NL East Finish: 3rd
Playoffs: None

The 2007 season was a significant one for the Braves in terms of milestones. Third baseman Chipper Jones broke Dale Murphy's career mark for home runs, and pitcher John Smoltz surpassed Phil Niekro in the team's record books for most wins.

The team was above .500 for nearly all of the 2007 season, but the Braves could not put together enough consecutive wins to make a playoff push. Atlanta finished 5 games behind the Phillies in the NL East and 6 games behind the Colorado Rockies for the wildcard spot.

All-Star Players

P John Smoltz
C Brian McCann


2008

Miserable August Sinks Season

Record: 72-90
NL East Finish: 4th
Playoffs: None

On July 25, the Braves beat the Phillies to open the series at Philadelphia. However, the Phillies won the next two, and the Braves eventually lost 7 of 8. Atlanta’s pattern of losing continued throughout August, as the Braves at one point lost 11 of 12 games. The 72 wins was the lowest total (not counting the strike season of 1994) since 1990, when the Braves went 65-97.

Chipper Jones remained a star in 2008, batting .364 with 22 homers. However, the team struggled elsewhere. Only two pitchers on the staff managed more than 10 wins.

All-Star Players

3B Chipper Jones
C Brian McCann


2009

Pitching Helps Braves’ Turnaround

Record: 86-76
NL East Finish: 3rd
Playoffs: None

The Braves were below .500 for much of the first half of the season, but Atlanta’s fortunes started to change in August. The Braves were 70-62 after a win on September 1, and Atlanta at one point came within two games of catching the Rockies for the NL Wildcard. However, the Rockies held on, ending Atlanta’s season.

All-Star Player

C Brian McCann


2010

Playoff Appearance in Cox’s Last Season

Record: 91-71
NL East Finish: 2nd
Playoffs: Lost in LDS to the San Francisco Giants (3-1)

Bobby Cox came to Atlanta in 1990 and turned the team around, watching the Braves make the playoffs year in and year out. In his final season, he led another turnaround as the Braves made their first playoff appearance since 2005.

Longtime leader Chipper Jones continued to see his numbers fall, but younger players picked up the slack. Among the new faces was 20-year-old right fielder Jason Heyward, who batted .277. Second baseman Martin Prado also showed improvement, hitting .307 in 140 games.

The Braves lost to eventual the World Series champions from San Francisco in the divisional series. Cox received a standing ovation after the final game.

All-Star Players

SB Martin Prado
P Tim Hudson
C Brian McCann
3B Omar Infante
OF Jason Heyward


2011

Late-Season Collapse Ends Playoff Hopes

Record: 89-73
NL East Finish: 2nd
Playoffs: None

It looked as if the Braves would run away with the NL wildcard berth. On September 1, Atlanta had an 81-55 record, which was eight games better than the St. Louis Cardinals. However, the Braves suffered 5 losses in 6 games early in September, and the Cardinals later swept the Braves in a series at St. Louis. Atlanta finished the season with a five-game losing streak, and the Cardinals took the wildcard berth en route to a World Series title.

All-Star Players

C Brian McCann
P Jair Jurrjens
P Craig Kimbrel
P Jonny Venters
3B Chipper Jones


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