Sunday saw a couple meaningful games in the National League go into extra innings. The Colorado Rockies and the Atlanta Braves went ten innings while the Philadelphia Phillies and the Milwaukee Brewers needed eleven innings to decide a winner.
Many people are saying that the Atlanta Braves are now the favorite to win the National League East. Even though the Braves have trailed the New York Mets the entire season, it was the Braves that made a couple big moves – most notably acquiring Mark Texiera – and put together a team that has everything it takes to win. Now all that’s left is for the Braves to start winning games.
Meanwhile, the Colorado Rockies are trying to keep pace in the highly competitive National League West. The Rockies are currently in fourth place in the division and they went into Sunday’s game four and half games back. However, they are trailing a very hot Arizona Diamondback team, the San Diego Padres, and the Los Angeles Dodgers.
In the tenth inning it was the Braves who prevailed over the Rockies. So Atlanta was able to remain four a half games behind the Mets while the Rockies dropped to five and a half games behind the Diamondbacks.
The other team in the NL East, trying to gain ground on the Mets, is the Philadelphia Phillies. They are playing the Milwaukee Brewers. The Brewers are trying to hold off the Chicago Cubs in the National League Central.
Lucky for the Brewers that the Cubs lost on Sunday because the Brewers were the team that fell in eleven innings. The Phillies beat the Brew Crew eight to six. That means the Brewers maintained their one game lead over the Cubs and the Phillies remained five games behind the Mets in the NL East.
The big series coming up this week will pit the Atlanta Braves against the New York Mets. It will be a chance for the Mets to really silence their critics or for the Braves to make a major move on the Mets. In fact, this series coming up may be huge in deciding who will win the NL East, assuming it will be either the Mets or the Braves.
If the Mets can win the series then it will send a message to the Braves that the additions they made didn’t do any good. It will also put the Mets ahead by five and half or more games. That’s a pretty comfortable lead in August.
However, the Braves can send a message to the Mets if the Braves are able to win the series. The Braves can get into the Mets’ heads that the race for the division title is really just beginning.