How much does Braves’ series win at Dodger Stadium mean for potential October rematch?

Tribune Content Agency

LOS ANGELES – We have reached September and the Braves haven’t yet provided any reason not to believe in them.

They’ve had tough stretches, but those haven’t been long. They’ve dealt with injuries to key players, but those haven’t slowed them.

They lost, 3-1, to the Dodgers in Sunday’s road trip finale at Dodger Stadium, but the Braves will still head home proud of what they accomplished over the last week and a half.

Five observations:

1. The Braves didn’t provide the Dodgers with any bulletin-board material for a theoretical postseason series. They were respectful toward their opponent. They might’ve made a statement on the field, but they didn’t boast about it.

Perhaps the reason is this: The beginning of September and the month of October might not have any correlation. In that way, we might not be able to read much into this series. A lot can change.

“The playoffs is a different animal,” Charlie Morton said. “Just like we saw with the Phillies last year. Just like you saw with us in ‘21. The good teams are gonna go deep in the playoffs. The hot teams are gonna go the furthest, probably – more often than not. I think it’s more about being in a good spot, and I think we are. And healthy, as well. Those are the key factors, other than just the magic.”

Still, this weekend was impressive. The Dodgers had gone 24-4 in August before the Braves came to town. They also had won seven of their last eight games, and hadn’t lost consecutive games since the end of July.

The Braves then won the first three here. The Braves took a series at Dodger Stadium for the first time since 2012, and won a four-game series at this ballpark for the first time since 2009. In doing so, they reached 90 victories faster than any team in modern-era franchise history (since 1900).

Maybe this series means nothing when October rolls around, but it probably couldn’t have gone better for Atlanta.

“I think they’re independent of each other, but coming in and winning a series is always gonna be good,” Matt Olson said. “Faced some good arms and got a lot of good starts from our guys while we were here. That’s gonna feel better than being on the opposite side.”

2. At this point, the Braves have nothing left to prove.

“I think our guys feel like they can play with anybody in the game,” Braves manager Brian Snitker said.

They can. They’ve shown it time and again.

Still, this series and road trip were encouraging. The Braves went to San Francisco, Colorado and Los Angeles – with no off days – and won eight of 10 games. Their only losses came in series finales, after they’d already taken those series.

“When you take a road trip or start a road trip like this at the places we played, you can’t look ahead at anything, (or) you’ll drive yourself crazy,” Snitker said. “In retrospect, I looked at the body of work and it was really, really good. Really good trip, a lot of great things happened. To take a series here is awesome. Played good baseball. Played really good baseball. Our guys earned an off day for tomorrow.”

3. After Matt Olson homered in the dugout, Snitker joked with him.

“I knew you’d hit another one before the year was over,” Snitker said.

Olson chuckled.

Eighteen games and 81 appearances separated Olson’s Aug. 13 homer and the one he hit Sunday. In between both, he experienced his longest homer drought of the season.

Everyone knew it would end.

In the seventh inning, Olson powered a two-out solo shot. It trimmed Atlanta’s deficit to a run.

The Braves couldn’t muster anything else against right-hander Bobby Miller or the relievers who followed him.

4. In the bottom of the fifth inning, Morton allowed a run-scoring double and a run-scoring single. At that point, Snitker went to his bullpen.

The group performed well, but in the eighth, Ben Heller gave up a run, which pushed the deficit back to two runs.

Snitker has reason to feel confident in his starters: Against one of the top offenses in the game, Braves starting pitchers combined to surrender seven earned runs over 23 innings.

5. By winning three of four, the Braves put themselves six games ahead of the Dodgers. This is important because home-field advantage in the postseason is determined by record.

“Obviously you love having the crowd behind you,” Olson said. “I think sometimes you can get just as fired up when everybody’s rooting against you. You love being at home in front of the fans, but you can kind of play the other side too.”

Stat to know

2013 – The Braves won the season series with the Dodgers for the first time since 2013.


“I mean, you’re aware that it’s a really good team over there. I don’t think there’s any extra put on it in here. I don’t think it has any implications on if we were to meet in the playoffs or anything like that. A month is a lot of time from now.”-Olson on the meaning of this series

Up next

The Braves haven’t yet announced a starter for Tuesday’s opener versus the Cardinals. First pitch is at 7:20 p.m.