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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.