I considered myself to be the unofficial owner of the Atlanta Braves. After all, they are MY team.
Call me crazy or obsessive, but I was born in the city they represent, I grew up watching their dominance in the National League through the mid to late 90s. I have always been accustomed to watching the Braves success, and this season is no different.
When General Manager Frank Wren built the Braves this off season, he envisioned players with firepower. He wanted players that could change the outcome of games with one single swing of the bat, as well as have enough finesse for pitchers to go deep into the game and have the best closer in the game, Craig Kimbrel, close it out.
So when the Braves compiled a very impressive 14-game winning streak from July 26 to Aug. 9, I wasn't so surprised that they were sweeping series, but I was surprised at the way that the Braves were beating the teams. The Braves were producing up to their capability and finally lived up to the expectations entering the 2013 season.
Although the streak is now over, while watching every single game, I was on the edge of my seat until the final out was recorded. I'll break the run down into three phases.
Wins 1-7: This Again
All season, I have seen the Braves as one of the better teams in the National League but have many spells of inconsistency in the offense.
So when the Braves strung together sweeps of two high power offenses in the St. Louis Cardinals and Colorado Rockies, I wasn't surprised that we beat them but I was convinced that this six-game winning streak would not last because of the inconsistencies that had been having.
Wins 8-12: Uh-Oh… This Is The Real Deal
The next two series were the ones that got me honestly believing me that the Braves would not lose again.
Their offense was clicking on all cylinders, and the pitching rotation had not gone less than 6 innings. Jason Heyward was absolutely thriving in his new role as the lead off hitter. I was freaking out after every single win and boasting to EVERYONE I knew about how the Braves are going to win the World Series in October.
I was changing the subject so people would talk about how successful MY Braves team was playing.
Wins 13-14: The End I Had Expected
Fresh off a sweep of my hated foe, the Washington Nationals, I was convinced that we would take the next series against the awful Miami Marlins.
Although, a part of my conscious had always been aware of the fact that this magical run was going to end soon, but I didn't want to admit it. I have analyzed the game long enough to know, that in baseball, streaks never last forever.
The Braves had a much-needed day off for the first in a couple of weeks and I feared that coming off the rest would lead to the very first loss in a long time. My instincts proved right, and we lost 1-0 on a wild pitch in the top of the ninth inning.
Back when my team had won an impressive ten games in a row, I tweeted that I would be crushed if the Braves lose another game by the end of the following week. Low and behold, I was. I took the loss like sucker punch to the gut. I was upset, I had known the loss was looming.
During the incredible 14-game winning streak, my team increased their lead in the NL East division from 8 games to 15.5 games. My Atlanta Braves became a baseball powerhouse with that streak. My Atlanta Braves became the new team to beat for the World Series.
By: Neil Shelat