Braves Win 10th Consecutive Game
The Atlanta Braves have been steadily leading the NL East race all season long, but they are pulling away thanks to an impressive 10-game winning streak.
Atlanta made it 10 in a row on Sunday after defeating the Philadelphia Phillies by a score of 4-1 and extended their lead in the East to 12.5 games after the seeing the Washington Nationals lose to the Milwaukee Brewers.
In just his fourth major league start, Alex Wood shut down the rival Phillies, outdueling Philly ace Cliff Lee by allowing just two hits and one run.
“(Braves catcher Brian McCann) and I had a good game plan, just attack and make good pitches,” Wood said, according to ESPN.com. “I didn’t want to be the one who lost the streak.”
Like they have in the playoff race, the Braves jumped out in front early, scoring two runs in the top of the first inning on a Chris Johnson single, which provided Wood with some helpful cushion.
“Our offense got us going,” Wood said. “To get two runs before I got out there, you feel like you have a little room to work with.”
After another sweep, the Braves have a lot of room to work with in the division too. Next up is East foe Washington, which is the only other team in the division that has any – albeit slim – playoff hopes.
Today, the Nats begin a three-game set with the Braves and there is no room for error as Stephen Strasburg (5-9, 3.04 ERA) takes the mound against Mike Minor (11-5, 2.75 ERA). Strasburg has pitched well recently, but hasn’t gotten much help, as the Nats have scored just eight runs for him in his last four starts.
“When things are going like they have been lately, you know that there isn’t much margin for error,” Strasburg said.
Meanwhile, Minor has been just as strong, or stronger for Atlanta, as he’s posted a 3-1 record and a 1.53 ERA in his last five starts.
The Braves certainly looked poised to clinch the East soon and they also look poised to continue their recent domination of the Nats. Strasburg’s presence on the mound puts the Nats on the favorite line today, but I wouldn’t bet against the Braves while they are still streaking. So, take Atlanta to cover +1.5 today.