The Atlanta Braves went on a remarkable second half run to make the playoffs and win the World Series in 2021. After another slow start to 2022, manager Brian Snitker is trying to instill some urgency in his team to prevent it from being necessary again.
The Braves entered play Sunday at 27-27, 8.5 games behind the New York Mets in the NL East. That’s not all that different from where they were last year, when they started 25-28, did not have a winning record until August and won the championship anyway.
Snitker warned that the Braves cannot count on a repeat, because unlike last year, the Mets are positioning themselves as a dominant force capable of putting a division title out of reach early.
“It’s the same exact feeling of a year ago,” Snitker told Bob Nightengale of USA Today. “There’s only one difference. Last year, there was no one in the division that wanted to run away with it. This year, there is.”
The Braves’ issue is that in 2021, even when they were lingering around .500, neither the Phillies nor the Mets were able to take control of the division. Indeed, the Braves already trail the Mets in the NL East by more games than they trailed anyone at any point in 2021.
The Braves have time to turn things around and have the talent to do so. However, one has to wonder how much they may be missing their longtime leader.