Baseball fans cheer before the start of the game between the Atlanta Braves and the St. Louis Cardinals of Game 5 of the NLCS against the St. Louis Cardinals at SunTrust Park Wednesday, Oct. 9, 2019 in Atlanta. (JASON GETZ/SPECIAL TO THE AJC)
Photo: Jason Getz
Photo: Jason Getz

Opinion: Heartbreak aside, Braves, fans should look to future

As baseball games go, this one was heartbreaking.

A 10-run first inning. A roller-coaster of a series filled with plenty of highs — then a dud when it mattered the most.

It stings.

But set aside, if you can, what happened at SunTrust Park on Wednesday night.

Back in April, did you expect the Braves to win 97 games this season? Or clinch the NL East in mid-September? Or host a do-or-die Game 5 in early October?

Could you have guessed that Ronald Acuna would have such a breakout season? Or that Josh Donaldson would live up to his contract? Or that this team would be so much fun to watch?

Probably not.

Baseball, as we know, is about numbers, averages and statistics. But it’s also about grit, determination and heart — the stuff that never shows up on the back of any baseball card.

This team’s chemistry dazzled fans all season long.

Let’s not forget that some fans had sworn off the Braves altogether when the team moved from Atlanta to Cobb County.

Winning can change that.

This season, the team drew 2.65 million fans to home games — the highest in 12 years.

Sure, this season ended sooner than any Braves fan would have liked. And it came to a halt in a spectacularly disappointing fashion.

But the Braves are a young team — an organization that’s waxing, not waning.

This team has a lot of promise.

This team will be back.

For now, let’s join baseball fans in 26 other Major League cities, counting the days until pitchers and catchers report.

After all, there’s always next year.

— The Editorial Board

⚾️ More on Braves’ heartbreaking loss:

» Social media reaction to Atlanta Braves loss was swift and brutal

» The Braves’ ugly postseason numbers get even uglier

» Braves season ends with 26 minutes of misery

Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers.

Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.