Braves tune out following latest loss
Posted: Tuesday, September 27, 2011 7:02 pm
By PAUL NEWBERRY
AP Sports Writer
ATLANTA (AP) — The televisions in the Atlanta clubhouse had all been switched off.
The Braves didn’t even bother hanging around to watch the team that’s been chasing them in the wild-card race.
All they cared about was another wrenching loss in their September swoon.
Atlanta squandered an early two-run lead against Cliff Lee as the playoff-bound Philadelphia Phillies rallied for their 100th win of the season, 4-2 over the Braves on Monday night.
“Everybody is upset that we lost the game, but we’ve still got another game tomorrow,” Atlanta manager Fredi Gonzalez said, trying to stay upbeat even as his team collapses.
The Braves, who came into the night with a once-comfortable lead in the wild-card race shaved to a single game over St. Louis, lost their third straight and seventh in the last 10.
Their September record dropped to 9-16, sending a margin that had been 81⁄2 games three weeks ago to the verge of being totally wiped out.
St. Louis needed a win at Houston to pull even with two games remaining. With that game still in progress, the Braves began clearing out of the clubhouse, not even checking a score on their phones.
“This is a tough loss for me,” said rookie first baseman Freddie Freeman, who came up three times with a runner at second and failed to come through.
Ditto for the senior member of the team, 39-year-old Chipper Jones.
Barely able to run on an ailing right knee, Jones homered in the first to get the Braves started quickly, but hit into an inning-ending double play in the eighth with the potential tying runs aboard.
Published in The Messenger 9.27.11