As last year’s “Cinderella” team, the Atlanta Braves, fall short of a chance at winning the World Series, who will claim this year’s Championship title?

On October 4, the Atlanta Braves clinched the NL East title for the fifth year in a row. However, it wasn’t all smooth sailing leading up to this point. Similar to last year, the Braves were down 10.5 games to the Mets and were below .500 halfway through the season. By August 10, they were still back seven games, and their chances of defending their title started to fade. 

Despite the Mets being heavy favorites over the Braves in their final meeting of the regular season, the Braves secured the series win at home putting them in an exceptional position to claim the NL East title. 

In the first game, the Braves won 5-2 with home runs from shortstop Dansby Swanson, first baseman Matt Olson, and third baseman Austin Riley. Powerful hits from Eddie Rosario and Orlando Arcia allowed for more points as well. 

Kyle Wright started in the second game and finished with three strikeouts. Max Scherzer pitched for the Mets, but couldn’t get the job done with a final score of 4-2, Braves. Going into the third game, the Braves had all the momentum. They won 5-3, and the fans in Truist Park were roaring. 

The next morning, the Braves traveled to LoanDepot Park in Miami for their final three games of the regular season. They won the second of three games with RBIs from Ronald Acuña Jr. and William Contreras. This win earned them their NL East title and a guaranteed spot in the playoffs.

Heading into the playoffs, the Braves were the National League’s number two seed. Despite earning a bye week, it wasn’t to their advantage. While the Braves had practice, their upcoming opponent, the Philadelphia Phillies, was busy playing the Saint Louis Cardinals, beating them in two straight games. 

Coming into their first series of the playoffs, the Braves lost their momentum from their big wins against the Mets and the Marlins. Even playing under the Truist Park lights couldn’t help them. They were tied 1-1 as they headed to Philadelphia but lost the next game 9-1. 

Though the Braves were down 1-2 in the series, catcher Travis d’Arnaud, tried to keep the players’ and fans’ spirits alive. “We’ve won two games in a row before, he said. “We all believe in each other… we know what the situation is and we’re all gonna be ready for tomorrow.” 

In the fourth game, home runs from power players Dansby Swanson, Travis d’Arnaud, and Orlando Arcia helped the score, but in the end, weren’t enough to win the game. They lost the final game 8-3, and their hopes for another chance at a World Series Championship were crushed. 

Courtesy of (Photo credit Baker Battin)

With the former “Cinderella” Atlanta Braves eliminated from the playoffs, fans are speculating about who will take their spot. 

“If this ‘Cinderella’ storyline continued this year in the MLB playoffs, I think you could classify the San Diego Padres as this team,” said sophomore Nitin Raju, who has a podcast called “Choppin’ Braves” with Palmer Routh. “Sure, the Phillies or the Guardians are the more surprising teams, but the Padres 2022 regular season was very similar to the Braves in 2021.” 

“The Padres were overshadowed in their division by the ‘big bad’ Dodgers and were struggling to find their team identity,” said Raju. The Padres pulled out the big guns for their series against the Dodgers and came out victorious beating them 3-1. 

At the trade deadline, the Padres made a beeline for former Washington Nationals left fielder, Juan Soto and first baseman, Josh Bell. These new additions give the Padres a special opportunity for a successful postseason. 

“With the addition of Juan Soto before the trade deadline, the Padres have the star power necessary to win the World Series,” said senior Henry Douglass.

Looking at the playoff bracket, the top 3 teams–the New York Mets, Los Angeles Dodgers, and Atlanta Braves– are already eliminated. 

“It’s just a coincidence that all three of those teams lost,” said senior Phillip McPhail. “They were straight up outplayed by the opposing teams.” McPhail thinks there’s no excuse for their irregular execution, and the problem stems from a “poor performance on offense largely due to a well-performing pitching team.” 

With unsuspected teams left i

n the playoffs, it’s up for debate whether a stronger pitching or hitting team will win it all and which league the winner will come from. 

“A better pitching team will win because pitching has been the formula to win the past few years in the playoffs,” sophomore Palmer Routh said. If a team lacks pitching talent, the opposing team has an automatic advantage. With the postseason almost over, the outcome is unpredictable, but there will be a new champion before we know it.

Edited by Riley Sager