In an impressive display of baseball dominance, the Atlanta Braves have once again clinched the National League East crown, marking their sixth consecutive division title.
This is their 23rd division title in history (MLB leader), and it is the second-earliest clinch date achieved after only 146 games.
Braves clinched division in Philadelphia
The celebration came to life on Wednesday night at Citizens Bank Park as the visiting Braves beat the Philadelphia Phillies4-1.
Austin Riley set the tone early with a two-run homer in the first inning, giving Atlanta an early lead that they would never relinquish.
The Braves owed much of their win to pitcher Spencer Strider, who is making a strong case for the Cy Young Award.
Strider delivered a great performance, pitching seven innings and allowing just one run on four hits and two walks while striking out nine batters.
The game ended with Kirby Yates striking out Brandon Marsh, igniting celebrations among the Braves players as they danced and jumped near the mound.
For the Braves, this victory carried extra significance as it unfolded on the same field where the Phillies had eliminated them in last year’s NL Division Series. Now, the Braves are poised to enter the postseason with home-field advantage, solidifying their status as the betting favorites to claim the World Series title.
Braves’ impressive performance in 2023
Atlanta will seek its second championship in just three years, having previously defeated the Houston Astros in six games to clinch their first title since 1995.
As they inch closer to a second consecutive 100-win season (current record at 96-50), the Braves are undoubtedly a force to be reckoned with, despite enduring significant challenges, including the absence of key starting pitchers Max Fried and Kyle Wright.
The Braves have 16 remaining games: at MIA (3), vs. PHI (3), at WSH (4), vs. CHC (3), and vs. WSH (3).
Looking ahead at the playoffs, as things stand with the Braves at the top of the National League, they would receive a first-round bye and face the winner of the #4 and #5 Wild Card teams in a five-game NL Division Series starting on Saturday, October 7.