Atlanta Braves: 3 Ways the Braves Can Continue Their Second Half Success
It seems like the Braves are well on their way to making an appearance in this postseason, which would have to be the goal for the team, and especially Chipper Jones who is playing in his final season.
It is crucial that they keep playing the way they are at the moment. However, there are three specific things that they will need to continue if they want their second half success to persist.
Keep Scoring Runs
Although a strong defense is always good, you need to score at least a run in order to win the game. Scoring runs has been something the Braves have been able to excel at all season long.
They are tied for third with 114 runs after the All-Star break. If you include all the runs scored throughout the season, the Braves are tied for third in that category as well with 505 runs. The team has been consistently scoring all season long
If they can keep making the most of getting guys on base then they should have no problem in winning ballgames. Scoring runs is a good sign that a team is producing.
If the Braves can keep up this type of production they should see themselves with a spot in the postseason by the end of the year.
Continue Strong Division Play
Although the Braves currently find themselves holding down a wild-card position, it is not out of the question that they could claim the top spot in the division by the end of the year.
In order for them to do this they must make sure their play in the division stays the same. Since the All-Star break the team has been unstoppable against teams in the East, posting an unbelievable record of 14-4.
Two of those loses came at the hands of the Washington Nationals, who lead the division, in a series split. The Braves have six more games remaining in the season against the Nationals and it will be key for them to post a winning record during that time.
If they can do that, as well as beat the rest of the teams in the division, it would come as no surprise if they were able to grab the top spot in the East by the end of the year.
Remember Last Season
One of the biggest things that can factor into the way a team performs is motivation. Something the 2012 Atlanta Braves should have lots of.
When you are one of the best teams in baseball, seemingly having a wild-card spot locked up for most of the year, and lose your place in the playoffs during the last game of the season, you are allowed to feel crushed. But next season you need to learn from the mistake.
The Braves lost 18 of their last 26 games last season, including a three-game sweep at home by the Philadelphia Phillies. Which meant losing their wild-card spot to the St. Louis Cardinals, who went on to win the World Series.
It would be likely that many of the Braves' players are thinking that that could of been them winning the World Series, which means they will try their best to not let it come down to the final game of the season this year.
It should be expected the Braves will keep the pedal to the metal and make sure another collapse is not in their near future.