It's over. The NL East Race is over. Finished. Done.
If the Phillies go 11-12 in their remaining games the Braves would have to go 20 -1 to tie the Phillies for the division lead. Pop the champagne, the Phillies are the 2011 National League East Champs.
The Braves came into Philadelphia Monday as one of the hottest teams in baseball. They were full of themselves thinking that when they played the Phillies this time in September they would be the team to sweep and change dynamic of the NL East race.
Chipper Jones talked about how they conceded that the Phillies would probably win the division but that the Braves wanted to make a statement. He mentioned how the Braves at one time or another have beaten the Phillies "big three" pitchers. He mentioned they weren't "scared" of the Phillies and that he knew the Braves could beat them.
The Braves avoided having to face Roy Halladay or Cole Hamels and still got swept.
Jimmy Rollins didn't play in this series and the Braves still lost three straight. They were shutout by Cliff Lee, they were shut down by Vance Worley and just when they thought they got the best of Roy Oswalt, the Phils turned it on with a comeback 3-2 victory to complete the sweep. They out-scored the Braves 18 to 5.
The Phillies out classed the Braves.
They punched them in the mouth and any time the Braves looked like they might get up the Phils punched them in the mouth again. They put Atlanta and the rest of the league on notice that they were still the team to beat no matter who else has been hot since the All Star break. The road to the World Series comes through Philadelphia and it currently does not look like anyone has the ability to change that.
After the Phillies opened the series with a 9-0 shellacking of the Braves Chipper Jones wasn't done talking. Despite, or maybe because of, not partaking in his team's utter annihilation that night against the Phillies, Jones re-iterated that the Phillies were the team he wanted to meet in the playoffs.
Chipper Jones should keep saying that. If he says it enough he may even fool himself into believing it's true.