Originally posted on isportsweb.com  |  Last updated 9/22/13
The Atlanta Braves truly had a great Sunday, as the team beat the Chicago Cubs 5-2 and had the Washington Nationals lose to the Miami Marlins to clinch Atlanta’s first divisional title since 2005. Freddie Freeman celebrates the division title ( Photo by David Banks, Pool) Although the Braves, who currently have a 92-63 record with seven games left in the regular season, did clinch the division today, the team has been struggling to close out the regular season on a high note, losing five of their last eight games against the Washington Nationals and the hapless Chicago Cubs. Part of the problem in these past few games has purely been a lack of run support for the pitching staff, as the Braves have scored two runs or less in four of these five losses. Yet another scary situation for Atlanta is concern about the once-strong bullpen, which has looked a bit shaky over the past week as the regular season winds down. Highlighted by such pitchers as Scott Downs and closer Craig Kimbrel, the relievers have been a liability as of late against opponents that one would not really consider to be top-tier, which probably has manager Fredi Gonzalez a little nervous going into the playoffs; however, as long as these guys avoid injuries in the last seven matchups before the run to the World Series officially begins, Atlanta should be fine. As important as winning the division for the first time since 2005 was for the Braves, the team still has a huge task ahead of them: clinching the best record in the National League in order to secure home field advantage until it’s time to face off with the American League champion. This will not be a gimmie task, as the St. Louis Cardinals are currently just one game behind with the Los Angeles Dodgers lurking just one game behind the Cards. Comparing these three squads’ opponents to end the season makes it clear that this is truly up for grabs, as Atlanta faces the Milwaukee Brewers (68-86) and the Philadelphia Phillies (71-84) at home, St. Louis takes on the Washington Nationals (83-72) and the Chicago Cubs (65-91) at home, and Los Angeles plays the San Francisco Giants (72-84) on the road and the Colorado Rockies (71-86) at home. The Braves will silently be rooting for Harper and the Nats over the next few days By the numbers, Atlanta has the worst two opponents of these three teams and faces both at Turner Field. It’s not a given that the Braves will get by the Brew Crew and the Fightin’ Phillies with relative ease, but what is apparent is that they control their own destiny; win and the National League championship runs through Hotlanta; struggle and the biggest concern may not be losing out on a chance to stay at home for the playoffs. Take Our Poll
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Rams owner buys massive 520,000-acre Texas ranch

Cam Newton explains why he did not dive on fumble

George Karl’s agent rips Kings, wants broadcaster reprimanded

WATCH: Popovich has funny reaction to New Hampshire results

Suns vets pull packing peanut prank on rookie Devin Booker

Teammate gives Manning final completion ball from Super Bowl


Report: Ole Miss Football cited in 13 of 28 department violations by NCAA

Larry Sanders to consider NBA comeback after other interests stabilize

The NCAAB power rankings

SEC begins crying foul over Jim Harbaugh’s spring break plans at Michigan

Marc Gasol reportedly out indefinitely with broken foot

Patriots waive Montee Ball despite never officially re-signing running back

WATCH: Blackhawks coach walks out of press conference

Greg McElroy: Cam Newton 'quit on his team'

Tennis umpires secretly banned over gambling issues

WATCH: Dancing Kentucky fan slides down rail, fails

Clemson LB has great response to NFL draft analyst's criticism

Former Aggies QB Kyle Allen reveals culture problems at Texas A&M

Roy Williams collapses during game vs. BC

Panthers TE Greg Olsen shaves off his playoff beard

Derek Fisher thanks Knicks in statement

Miami Heat to honor Shaq by retiring his number 32

Oakland Raiders release Nate Allen

B.J. Penn announces he will return at UFC 197

Bring back the Dunk Contest

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

The NCAAB power rankings

Report: Kings to keep coach George Karl

Was Alain Vigneault right about NHL's lack of punishment towards Wayne Simmonds?

Report: Knicks fire coach Derek Fisher

The best and worst commercials from Super Bowl 50

Best and worst from Super Bowl 50

Six best plays from Super Bowl 50

Eli doesn't look thrilled as Peyton wins Super Bowl

Did Beyonce almost fall down during Super Bowl halftime show?

Curry to serve as drummer for Panthers

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Follow Yardbarker